Re: Ghana's B Rating Strange – Official

Thu, 2 Sep 2010 Source: Berko, George

(Need We Panic About This? No. Just Worry A Little, Work Harder.)

I think we should not panic or worry too much about the S&P ratings tagged on Ghana, as reported in the Article with the main title, and appearing on Ghanaweb.com on August 31, 2010. Because all fair-minded investors interested in the idea of investing in Ghana would have to do their due diligence to know what the prospects really are in investing in the country.

The fact that this S&P Rating follows so closely at the heels of Moody’s recent disdainful report on Ghana, which also showed up at the tail of Forbes Magazine’s placement of the country among the bottom 15 Economies in the World, strongly suggests a deliberate orchestrated manipulation of these so-called financial watchdog entities to portray us in that bleak financial state to twist the arms of our Government to do as the manipulator wants. The blatantly ostentatious admission of the Lobbyist, who calls herself the “Trouble-Maker”, K. Riva Levinson of Washington, DC, on behalf of Kosmos, in the Oil Company’s legal wrangling with the Ghana Government that she could bark at some Congress-folks in the USA and even the Obama’s White House to get them bear down on the Mills Administration to back off, substantively offers credence to the suggestion that the S&P Rating is only part of the blackmailing and scare-tactics employed to force our Government’s hand, or punish it for being defiant.

The sources for the S&P’s figures that were used to determine the Ratings are even questionable. Now, I know there are many that would not like to believe the Ratings Agencies could be manipulated. However, no one can deny the possibility of some “Resident-Evil” within it that might have its own beef for jumping into the fray at some opportune time to deepen the woes of the side it may have reason to dislike more. So, let no one tell us that these Ratings Agencies are beyond coercion and manipulation. We all know all is not exactly well with our Economy, but we surely did not deserve this barrage of regressive Ratings at this time. In fact, it is the timing of the Reports and Ratings, from Forbes through S&P, that makes the downgrading of our Ratings even more suspicious.

Even though, as a proverb in Akan goes that: “while an embarrassment might not suffice to overwhelm you, it could render your clothes in shreds”, and hence, Ghana might be scathed a little by such slanderous, disparaging propaganda, we should not be moved by the Reports to fall upon each other in ascribing blames, or lose our focus to improve the Economy; it is but a slight scratch that can be repaired in no time to give us our luster back.

It wasn't long ago when these external tools of Political manipulation were applied to countries like Argentina, which were cited to have been in a much worse shape. Yet, most of them have emerged stronger without the kind of investors that S&P intended to scare off. The irony, though, is that, in due course, when the countries seem to be really thriving again, those investors that abandoned them or sat on the sidelines are the ones that would like to claim the center-stage of advertizing their investments in the affected countries.

We’ll have to ignore these Ratings and concentrate on doing the right things, just what we need to do right that are provable not just on paper but also with practical physical manifestation in the local Economy, we would attract more genuine and honest investors than we ever dreamt of. True investors look at results, not some bogus, coerced, slanted reports. The Government should therefore concentrate on working harder to stabilize the job market, keep inflation low, and encourage the expansion of the small and medium private Businesses, while awaiting any revenue from the Oil projects to begin rolling in. If enough guarantees are enshrouded in irrefutable documents to guide the best use of our Revenue from the Oil, which obviously includes equitable distribution and acceleration of infrastructural development, the right atmosphere would easily be created to attract the investors that were even scared off by these Reports and Ratings.

Meanwhile, our Government should embark on its own more vocal, transparent campaign to expose any fraudulent, corrupt entities that are just angry at us because we refuse to give all we have to them and their Agents for pennies and dimes.

Riva Levinson and her cohorts can shove the reports down their stinky you-know-what! Ghana will survive their crude, "Shylockian" blackmails.

And to those Ghanaians, who, for political expediency, would insensitively acquiesce to the lies of such Africa's Agents-of-doom, I would say that they are only "chewing their own tongue" --it is no meat at all! And the earlier they sat up to realize that they are Ghanaian first before NPPians or NDCians or CPPians, the better environment they would help create to enjoy any wealth they gain. Therefore, this is not an occasion for local opponents of the Mills Administration to rejoice.

We should learn to take care of our own, even when we do not agree with one another all the time. At this point, I would suggest, again, that we should, particularly, allow Ombudsman intervention to settle the issue of possible conflict of interest and any likely overzealous overreach by the EO Group, which helped, in some way, at least, to get the Oil Project solidify at this point in our History. We should not look at every National issue with solely Partisan or Tribal lenses, and rather exhibit real wisdom in resolving issues between us without being bent on finishing off, literally or euphemistically, one another. We should break the cyclical of retribution among our Politicians that is denying us all, living and unborn, our birthright of pursuing development and enjoyment of life in peace. Yesterday, it was the NPP going after the NDC Scancems and the Tsatsus; today, it is NDC going after the NPP EO Group and the Tarzans; tomorrow, it might be the CPP going after the NPP or NDC. Where would it all stop to give way to the bare, crisp exacting of Justice for all without any after-taste? It would have been different and more of just doing the Nation’s business to have NPP go after the Tarzans, and the NDC, after the Tsatsus.

Our clamoring to control State resources to be, individually, wealthier than the other, and thus, more powerful, does not bode well for our Democracy, and breeds corruption and injustice. So, we need to sensibly mitigate our natural inclination to acquire individual financial success with a sense of integrity and shared empathy. That would demand that our Laws are allowed to work as intended and our Judiciary is left reasonably independent to dispense Justice without Political cajoling or finessing. If our Justice system alone passes the test of being adequately independent and unadulterated by Politics as usual, we would be sending the right message to any external Agent that might want to capitalize on any perceived chasm among us, that it should find their fishes in other waters. While we should insist on getting strong and excellent institutions within, we must as well deny our mutual foes outside the opportunity to use our differences to bedevil us.

We should wisely ask ourselves why the S&P and the other Ratings Agencies, Moody’s and Fitch, have failed again and again to downgrade the US to her appropriate levels but keep dumping many other smaller countries into a sinkhole, if they are truly politically unbiased and fair. These Agencies are insincere and woefully manipulative and we should be amply aware of, and sensitized by, their ultimate impact on our Nation.

Please, check the link below for real evidence of the Ratings Agencies’ ineptitude that deepens the plights of many Economies and people's finances and lifetime savings—courtesy of Martin D. Weiss, PhD.: (Just highlight the whole link and right-click to chose copy and go to the address bar to place the cursor in the URL box and right-click again to paste; then click enter).


Long Live Ghana!!!

(G. K. Berko. –Realtor, NH, USA).

Columnist: Berko, George