Former deputy governor of the Central Bank, Terrence Farrell's analysis in the Express of July 17 on the selection of the unknown figure, Jwala Rambarran, as Governor of the Central Bank, I thought was thorough and insightful.
He, however, could not have known of my deep, personal feeling of disappointment after I replayed in my mind my meeting with the bank's first governor, Canadian Alexander Mc Leod.
I still cherish the learnings from that interview with Dr Mc Leod. There I was, a cub reporter at the Trinidad Guardian, elated at accompanying Raoul Pantin, the paper's respected industrial reporter, to a meeting with Dr Mc Leod at the Treasury Building. I can still see Phillip Rochford, then the bank's corporate secretary, sitting in the room quietly.
Dr Farrell caused me to recall further the abundance of talent —trained, experienced and respected—that walked the corridors of the Central Bank, since Dr Mc Leod, and then came the realisation of how far we have fallen.
Questions then followed: Where was Larry Howai, the new Finance Minister, during the Cabinet's two-day deliberations on this appointment? Reports later revealed that almost all of the heavyweights of the "Cabal" had a sponsored choice.
We know that Jack Warner contacted UWI's Dhanayshar Mahabir, and at least five other names were said to be in the mix. But it is unclear where was Mr Howai, whose contribution to the debate should have been pivotal and decisive.
It is understood that he preferred Michael Mansoor, executive chairman of First Caribbean Bank, but there are reports that the Prime Minister ended the discussion after Mr Rambarran's sponsor in the Cabinet made his case, with an absolute ruling, stating that, although the 44-year-old Rambarran did not fit the bill, he should be given a chance.
Since then the Government's PR machinery continues, with great difficulty, to spin her argument.
"A chance!" one irate senior banker responded last week. "So we reach the stage that monetary policy is like a Quick Pick….we giving people a chance!
"I remember that you, Subero, wrote some time ago of the two boards at the Central Bank… the original board, and the second one, the Government appointed; those members still going to night school to understand the bank's monetary policy. Now, this appointment has completed the circle of Government control."
Mr Howai's real position on that selection continues in question. I keep wondering about Mr Howai, touted as Cabinet's great find, a financial "wunderkind'' — but within a month he is asked to yield on such a selection. After such a compromise, I wonder how he plans to wear the integrity that the financial community demands of him.
The appointment, as Dr Farrell pointed out, fits into the pattern of Reshmi Ramnarine to head the SIA; of CEPEP contractor, Rabindra Moonan as chairman of Caribbean Airlines; of a pipe-fitter to be the High Commissioner to Jamaica; an Assistant Superintendent to head the SSA; the stealth in the appointment of Ganga Singh as CEO of WASA, and the executive and board appointments at National Gas, T&TEC, TSTT and almost every state agency.
"I fear that everything… every institution is being cheapened. Appointments are no longer made on merit, because every position is now biddable among the Cabal members." Next comes the office of President, the banker added.
Just as Mr Howai is most likely questioning himself this morning, I expect that National Security Minister Jack Warner, as he proposes to make one of his unannounced visits to police stations, is doing the same, but with different questions.
Mr Warner, on hearing of FIFA's decision on Mohamed Bin Hammam last week, claimed that he was vindicated and relieved, but after the release of the full statement of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, can he still claim that comfort?
The court said it did not find Bin Hammam innocent, just that there was insufficient evidence, and it reserved the right to re-open the case. Even more ominous for Warner is the announcement from FIFA's Ethics Committee that it will be probing past allegations, including those about World Cups 2018 and 2022.
There must be no comfort for Mr Warner as he is reminded of his words, captured on video, during the meeting at the Hyatt last year, and used in the bribery scandal.
Our National Security Minister told the meeting: "When you leave here, our business is our business. That's what solidarity is about. And if anybody has a conscience and wishes to send back the money, I am willing take it, and give it back to him."
This reads more like a Corleone family meeting, rather than a meeting among football executives.
So it is now over to Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs, who must now complete his investigation, before the FBI comes to town with its own questions on the use of US currency during that meeting.
• Keith Subero, is a former Express news editor, has since followed a career in communication