I'm trying to be as calm as possible in writing this, but it's rather difficult. Each day's word emanating from the Clico/HCU enquiry seems to be grimmer than the previous. On Friday, former Central Bank governor Ewart Williams admitted over $10 billion was tacked to the taxpayers' tab because of his inaction.
The shock literally made me splatter the morning's cuppa all over the keyboard. In a population of 1.3 million, that $10 billion tab means, through the inaction of Mr Williams, each citizen has been unfairly docked $7,692.31. For a family of four, that multiplies to $30,769.23; a family of seven, $56,846.15.
What have we done to Mr Williams, or anyone else, to deserve such maltreatment? To visit us with a bill of $10 billion cannot be written off his bad books by claiming his lapse was accidental, that is to say, because he wasn't convinced things were really ghastly at Clico and HCU.
As I continue to monitor the enquiry's proceedings and its bit-by-bit unravelling of what went down outside the scope of public knowledge within those two institutions before they were "shuttered", apart from being horrified and taking notes for future reference, I keep asking myself, "Why aren't these people already shuttered away in jail, awaiting trial for the glaring misdeeds they have committed by their negligence as all the evidence unearthed thus far shows?
Do they carry more clout than Allen Stanford or Bernie Madoff? Or is this going to turn out to be another Landate or Piarco scandal where accused persons can run to court on technicalities, trying to get off scot-free, or delay their day of reckoning?
Over the past few months, significant strides have been made to recoup national assets unreasonably given over to foreigners. The reasonable expectation is there'll be no "easing of the tension" to make officials who failed to do their duty in the Clico and HCU matters pay, through their noses if need be, for their "accidental" lapses which, as outlined at the beginning, always hit citizens squarely and deeply in the pocket.
If the DPP is reluctant to come to the people's rescue (as he did for "the holy innocents", during the 2011 State of Emergency), then let him pack it in so a serious crusader could look after the people's interests in the sleazy Clico/HCU matters.
Nathalia La Foucade
Port of Spain