Friday, October 3, 2008

'No Need To Panic', Jamaican Minister of Finance Says Local Funds Safe From US Banking Crisis

AS THE Lower House of the United States Congress voted yesterday against a US$700-billion bailout plan for that nation's banking sector, Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw, said there was no need for Jamaica to panic.

Shaw told The Gleaner yesterday that Bank of Jamaica Governor Derick Latibeaudiere and acting director of the Financial Services Commission, George Roper, have been monitoring the financial debacle in the United States.

Regulatory bodies up-to-date

The finance minister gave assurance that no local financial institution has been adversely affected in as a result of the turmoil in the US banking sector.

He said the regulatory bodies have been briefing him on the proceedings as they unfold.

However, the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) yesterday slammed the Bruce Golding administration for what it said was its failure to provide the country with full information on the possible fallout from the economic crisis.

"I have expressed my concern that the Government is (not) addressing it or speaking to the country to allay our fears or to say, ' Brace yourselves'," PNP President Portia Simpson Miller said during a briefing at the party's Old Hope Road, St Andrew, headquarters.

Rocky future

The party's spokesman on finance, Dr Omar Davies, said the Government needs to demonstrate that it understands the problem facing the country.

Yesterday, US President George W. Bush expressed disappoint-ment at the House vote rejecting his administration's rescue plan for the US financial industry.

"Our strategy is to continue to address this economic situation head-on. We'll be working to develop a strategy," Bush told reporters yesterday.

Meanwhile, US Democratic presidential candidate, Barack Obama, said he was confident that the US Congress would eventually find a way out of the "morass surrounding the bailout". However, he said, "It's going to be rocky."

Chief economic advisor of the Republican presidential candidate, blamed the Democrats for the failed vote.

Source: Jamaica-Gleaner.Com

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