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  • 2023: A Look Back (Part Four)

2023: A Look Back (Part Four)

This article, the final in a four-part series, looks back at some of the Central Bank of Barbados’ activities and initiatives in 2023. Read parts one, two, and three here.

A New Series that Demystifies Economic Jargon

In October, the Central Bank of Barbados debuted “What It Means; Why It Matters,” a new video series that used dramatizations of true-to-life scenarios to break down key economic issues and shows how they impact the average Barbadian, and as such, why they should care.

The nine episodes explained inflation, the unemployment rate, the definition and importance of international reserves, GDP, the debt-to-GDP ratio, the concept of a small open economy, revenue and expenditure, the fiscal balance and the primary balance, and the exchange rate peg – with Governor Greenidge playing The Explainer, a stranger who steps in to answer the characters’ questions.

The Bank received kudos both for attempting to simplify the jargon and for its unusual approach to doing so:

“A super creative way of passing on an important message.” 

“Informative. Well defined and supported by examples that helped explain the subject matter and ensuing intricacies involved.”

“Very informative. The analogies to real-life situations (allowances) and breaking it down to a language that the man on the street can understand (sale of coconuts) is amazing. Keep it up.”

“Top class. Innovative approach, explanatory, connective. Are you sure Dr. Greenidge is not a professional actor?”

New Deputy Governors

In October, the Bank announced that it had appointed two new Deputy Governors. They are Michelle Doyle and Elson Gaskin, both of whom had previously acted in the post. Prior to her promotion, Doyle, a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), was Advisor to the Governor and the Director of the Digital Transformation Unit, while Gaskin was the Bank Secretary. He is an attorney-at-law who also holds an MBA (Banking and Law). They join Alwyn Jordan, who was appointed in 2019, bringing the complement of Deputy Governors to three following a June 2023 amendment to the Central Bank of Barbados Act.

In that same statement, the Bank also announced that Julia Weekes, its Director of Banking, Currency and Investment, had been promoted to Executive Director and Sadie Dixon, its Legal Counsel, had been promoted to Bank Secretary.

The following month, the Bank announced that Michael Edghill, an accountant, had been appointed to its Board of Directors for a term of one year.

The 48th Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecturer Outlines a Path to Inclusive, Sustainable Economic Growth

In November, the Bank’s long-running Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture series returned to the Frank Collymore Hall after three years of being held virtually. 

Mariana Mazzucato, Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London (UCL) and Founding Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose (IIPP), was the guest lecturer, speaking on the topic “Directing Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth: A Mission-Oriented Approach.”

Professor Mazzucato is an advisor to policymakers across the globe, including the Government of Barbados, and had recently authored a paper entitled “A Mission-Oriented Strategy for Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth in Barbados” that outlines six missions the island should adopt. These missions would address climate issues, social cohesion, food and water insecurity, mental and physical health challenges and the associated social instability, financial marginalisation and worker vulnerability, and unequal access to technology. 

During the lecture, she explained the concept of a “mission-oriented approach” and gave an overview of several of the missions her paper proposes. Following her presentation, Prime Minister, the Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, for a discussion and Q&A session joined her on stage.

The 48th Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture

Governor Greenidge Named Chair of the CARICOM Central Bank Governors Group

In early November, Governor Greenidge attended the 61st Bi-Annual CARICOM Central Bank Governors Meeting in Jamaica, where he took part in two panel discussions, one that examined the experiences of Caribbean central banks that had introduced polymer banknotes, and the other on “Governing During Challenging Times,” specifically how regional central banks navigated the challenges faced by Caribbean economies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the meetings, Governor Greenidge assumed chairmanship of the group. As such, Barbados will host the 2024 meetings.

Other Activities

In addition to the discussions at the CARICOM Governors Meeting, Governor Greenidge also participated in a panel discussion on diaspora relations at the Afriexim Bank’s conference in Guyana. He also delivered the Embassy of Barbados in Washington’s Independence Lecture.