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OECD increases 2021 global economic growth forecast to 5.6%

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has raised its 2021 global growth forecast to 5.6%.

Economy shrank by 8.2% in first three quarters of 2020

Economic activity in the Cayman Islands is estimated to have contracted by 8.2% in the first nine months of 2020, when measured as the gross domestic product in real terms.

Financial markets turn to optimism as economies are poised to recover

The global coronavirus pandemic triggered a historic sell-off in the stock markets only for them to mount a stunning recovery in equities before the end of 2020.

OECD area economic growth slowed in 4Q 2020

The gross domestic product growth of the Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) area slowed to 0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2020 as most countries posted year-on-year declines.

Economy contracted by 11.4% in first half of 2020

Cayman’s gross domestic product fell by 11.4% in the first six months of last year.

OECD unemployment declines amid mixed market indicators

Unemployment in industrialised countries continued to decline at the end of 2020 as leading indicators in most advanced economies continued to improve. 

Economist: ‘Cayman taking hit, but will recover nicely’

Cayman’s “really strong” economic and fiscal position means it is the best-placed country in the Caribbean to respond meaningfully to the current crisis, according to economist Marla Dukharan.

OECD sees improved economic outlook

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development believes the global economy will bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic, and grow by as much as 4.2% in 2021.

Economy grew by 1.9% in the first quarter 2020

Cayman’s economy entered the difficult period of the COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdown measures this year with a 1.9% first-quarter increase of its gross domestic product in real terms.

Retail and construction drove economic growth in 2019

The Economics and Statistics Office reported that Cayman’s economic performance in 2019 was one of the strongest in recent years, generating an estimated gross domestic product of 3.2%.

Rebuilding after ‘software ate the world’

Well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur and venture-capital investor Marc Andreessen’s 2011 note claiming that “software is eating the world” will go down as one of...

Jobs cut as Dart scales back hotel operations amid COVID impact

The Dart group is scaling back operations at The Ritz-Carlton and Kimpton Seafire resorts in a move that will impact hundreds of jobs.

OECD unemployment falls

Unemployment in developed countries remains above pre-COVID 19 levels, but in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, jobless rates fell on average to...

OECD countries report unprecedented fall in GDP

Following the COVID-19 pandemic-containment measures around the world, real gross domestic product in OECD countries has suffered an unprecedented 9.8% fall in the second quarter of this year.

Government projects 7.2% economic contraction in 2020

Cayman’s economy is expected to contract by 7.2% this year before recovering partially with a 6.4% expansion in 2021, according to Finance Minister Roy McTaggart.

Leading indicators strengthen after crisis in all major economies

Composite leading indicators for July in OECD countries continued to strengthen from the COVID-19-crisis lows across all major economies. However, the numbers remain below long-term trends and at levels lower than those recorded prior to the coronavirus outbreak.

Inside the ESO’s economic assessment and stimulus plan

The Economics and Statistics Office has this week released its COVID-19 Economic Impact Assessment and Stimulus Plan that is informing government policy on tackling the economic fallout from the pandemic. Finance Minister Roy McTaggart outlined the key findings of the report at the end of May, stating that the economy might contract by 12.2%, with nearly 10,000 jobs lost, including almost 3,000 Caymanian employees.

Signs of a reopening economy

As Cayman gradually restarts its domestic economy, thousands of workers are being given the green light to return to their jobs as part of the first phase of reopening.

How does a 15% contraction feel? Like 2013 – only worse

Current economic projections predict recessions all over the world at levels rarely, if ever, seen before. The Cayman Islands, for instance, is facing a 15% contraction of its economic activity this year. But what does this really mean? In terms of economic activity, it would transport the islands back to where they were in 2013.
Downtown George Town is a quiet echo of its former self

Ask the Experts – Reopening the economy

Around 6,000 workers are expected to return to work in one capacity or another as the first phase of reopening Cayman's economy begins. Retailers,...

Finance minister: Cash reserves can support economic recovery

Five months after the government presented a record $1.6 billion two-year budget, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown all financial plans into disarray.
Repurposing bus and taxi drivers for deliveries is one idea under consideration.

Business leaders seek solutions for crippled economy

Business leaders are exploring various solutions to keep people employed during the coronavirus crisis.

COVID-19 economic analysis: Just how bad might it get?

The global COVID-19 pandemic is posing serious challenges to economies everywhere and we should expect the same in the Cayman Islands. Guest columnist Paul Byles examines some of the potential impacts we may see in the coming months.

Premier: Cayman to face economic headwinds

After years of positive economic growth, Cayman is likely to face an economic downturn that will come sooner and be more intense than previously thought, according to Premier Alden McLaughlin.

Column: US economy keeps sprinting ahead

Contrary to the defeatist narrative that many on the left will surely advance, this economic success is a direct result of the president’s pro-growth policies.
An aerial view of the business area of downtown George Town, Grand Cayman

EDITORIAL – Inflation: The silent pickpocket

Recently released statistics on inflation may have come as no surprise to Cayman Islands residents whose wallets lately have seemed a bit lighter.

EDITORIAL – A ‘good news’ day in the Cayman Islands

Monday’s front page was not a deliberate attempt to inspire a rose-hued perspective about current events. It was, fortunately and refreshingly, an accurate reflection of the day’s news in these islands.

Morici: The fourth industrial revolution

Productivity growth, after languishing during the Obama presidency, is taking off again.

Rahn: What would Adam Smith think?

Smith was a practical man who wrote about the importance of “common sense.” After two centuries, we know that most of his common-sense insights as to the way the world works were indeed correct then and are now.

Morici: Welcome to Trump’s new economy

The GOP may well get skewered in the midterms and Mr. Trump may be denied a second term from the sheer weight of hectoring by liberal Democrats, Bush-era Republicans and the media, but history will treat him more kindly.

Rahn: A tale of two pairs of states

People voting with their feet is the strongest indication of whether they approve or disapprove of the policies of any state or country.

Mitchell: The hidden tax of political cronyism

The bottom line is that cronyism promotes and protects inefficiency. And when an economy is less productive, that results in lower incomes and diminished living standards. Sadly, this is not just a problem in developing and transition nations.

Rahn: Prosperity and the rule of law

I would bet, unless China institutes a true rule of law, that economic growth will slow and eventually cease – without the country ever becoming rich on a per capita income basis.

Mitchell: Do crises produce liberalization or more statism?

The authors wanted to find out whether bad economic news (as captured by data on “GDP growth, deep recession, unemployment, crisis”) leads to pro-market reforms.

EDITORIAL – Work permit stats reflect Cayman’s changing face

New immigration figures confirm that the Cayman Islands population is not just changing; it has already changed.

Rahn: Why some problems seem never to be solved

Public choice economists recognize that most people have some concern for others, but their main motive – whether they are voters, politicians, lobbyists or bureaucrats – is self-interest.

EDITORIAL – Getting government out of the ‘bedroom business’

If this government is, as it claims to be, “of and for the people,” it needs to re-examine what its regulatory policies are doing to the very people it purports to represent.

Morici: Dollar will hold as reserve currency

Sorry Bitcoin, offshore dollars were a private currency for years – largely virtual, without official government sanction and lightly regulated – long before initial coin offerings came along. And it’s run by much more trustworthy and careful people.

Will: What might a socialist American government do?

Socialism requires – actually, socialism is – industrial policy, whereby government picks winners and losers in conformity with the government’s vision of how the future ought to be rationally planned.

Rahn: The unthinking and the unobservant

Can you think of one socialist experiment that worked in the last several hundred years?

Morici: Paying off the mortgage, but not too quickly

If hard times hit, you are out of a job and over-extended, credit card balances can be more easily renegotiated than mortgage debt. Student loans, unlike most other debt, are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

EDITORIAL – Cayman’s success depends on growth and diversity

It is good that Premier McLaughlin has correctly recognized the increasingly cosmopolitan makeup of our growing society, and the growing diversity among the Caymanian half of our population.

Morici: Trump economy is doing fine

Nonpartisan research predating the Trump candidacy indicates the 15 percent cut in taxes on business profits enabled by corporate reforms should increase investment between 7.5 percent and 15 percent.

Rooney: Facing the realities of a changing world

As an economist and – yes, as a globalist – I have a lot of confidence in the entrepreneurial spirit of Americans. I think we will find a new path to growth, upgrade our workforce’s skills, and ultimately the wage-productivity gap will close.

EDITORIAL – Welcoming the world to Cayman

Cayman did not simply break our previous record for airplane arrivals in the first quarter of this year – it shattered them, putting us on pace for a fifth-straight record-breaking year.

Will: Is the US trapped in a debt spiral?

The Congressional Budget Office projects that new federal borrowing over the next 10 years will total $12.4 trillion and that at the end of 2028, the debt will be $28.7 trillion – 96 percent of GDP, up from 39 percent in 2008.

A deeper understanding of global debt

The scary-sounding global debt numbers were a bit of a publicity stunt; they got our attention, even if they were intellectually misleading.

Morici: The optimists may be right

Economists mostly sort into two camps – those who believe the post-World War II period was exceptional and those at the White House and a few others (count me in) who believe the best is yet to come.

Rahn: Protecting capital gains from inflation

A capital gains tax, in effect, raises the risk and price of the investment, resulting in lower investment and slower growth and job creation.

Mitchell: Debt, deficits and public finance

The threat is not the red ink. The real danger is an ever-increasing burden of government spending, driven by entitlements.

EDITORIAL – UK wins ‘war’ against EU … then surrenders

Perhaps half-hearted Brexit officials secretly hope, if they manage to bungle the negotiations sufficiently, that the people of the U.K. will change their minds about leaving the EU.

Mitchell: Globalism, good and bad

Globalism (or globalization, or internationalism, or the policies of “Davos Man,,” or whatever you want to call it) increasingly is perceived to be about more than free trade and comity between nations. In the minds of market-oriented people, it is getting linked with other policies that cause considerable angst.

Rahn: More meanness from government

Given how few people are actually convicted of money-laundering, the overwhelming evidence is that 99 percent of the people being forced to submit to these costly and time-consuming proposed regulations will not be guilty of money-laundering, terrorism or whatever, and thus should not be harassed by government.

Morici: The next fiscal crisis

Uncle Sam’s incessant borrowing – just like irresponsible home mortgages in the 2000s – could again send financial institutions barreling over a cliff.

Thiessen: Protect public workers from unions’ coercion

Liberals say conservatives are trying to use the court to break the power of public sector unions. But if the only way they can maintain their political power is through coercion, then they do not deserve that power in the first place.

Rahn: A tale of two countries and their economic freedom

The tragedy is that the people of Venezuela should be enjoying a very high per capita income, as are the Norwegians, if they had made better political choices.

Will: Why good economic news is bad

All news is economic news, because everything affects the economy, or reveals attitudes or behaviors that soon will affect it. And all economic news is bad – especially good economic news, because it gives rise to bad behavior.

Will: Protectionism ensures no bad deed goes unrewarded

Fomenting spurious anxieties about national security is the first refuge of rent-seeking scoundrels who tart up their protectionism as patriotism when they inveigle government into lining their pockets with money extracted from their fellow citizens.

EDITORIAL – Paying homage to Cayman’s essential ‘invisible’ giant

With continued good fortune, perseverance and high-quality education, we have no doubt that Cayman — energized and enabled by our financial services sector — will not only build on our half-century of success, but will surpass even those “miraculous” accomplishments.

Unemployment answer

Today's editorial cartoon

Morici: When politicians abuse inequality

Overall, the Trump administration and Republican Congress – much like President Bush and his Republican Congress before them – are hardly addressing the genuine concerns of the great mass of voters who put them in power. Yet, the clients and executive class of the liberal state see the GOP as an existential threat to their systems of privileges and persecution so carefully erected during the Clinton and Obama years.

EDITORIAL – Blue skies ahead: Record arrivals fill local coffers

The cruise industry, along with stayover travel, are the two legs upon which Cayman’s hospitality sector stands.

Will: US needs balanced-budget amendment more than ever

No one knows at what percentage the debt’s deleterious effect on economic growth becomes severe; no sensible person doubts that there is such a point.

Mitchell: Hopes and fears for policy in 2018

Let’s speculate about potential victories and defeats in 2018.

Rahn: The end of government ‘Monopoly money’

The energy and the intelligence are on the side of the entrepreneurs, not on the side of the government regulators. Ultimately, government central banks and financial agencies are going to lose this battle.
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Letter: The contributions of Nick Duggan

The recent 50th anniversary of the bank is a reminder of this gentleman, and one of Cayman’s finest citizens.

It is time to scrap the Jones Act

Congress is thinking about giving Puerto Rico a new five-year exemption from the law. That is the least it should do.

EDITORIAL – Butterfield Bank: A half-century of service to Cayman

Congratulations to Butterfield on its “golden” anniversary in the Cayman Islands. Here’s to your next 50 years.

EDITORIAL – One EU ‘blacklist’ and 47 shades of gray

There’s good news, there’s bad news and then there’s … gray news. Developments out of Brussels this week fell in the last category, as the European Union placed the Cayman Islands on a so-called “graylist” — meaning our government has made certain commitments in writing to address EU criteria on tax transparency and “fairness."

Will: Republicans’ tax wager is worth the gamble

Economics is a science of incentives, and like all sciences it is never “settled.”

Mitchell: The best reasons to support tax havens

The late Mancur Olsen was a very accomplished academic economist who described the unfortunate tendency of vote-seeking governments to behave like “stationary bandits,” seeking to extract the maximum amount of money from taxpayers.

Morici: Treating US Congress as a harbinger of recession

These days, politics poses more threats to the economy than the machinations of the bond market as measured by the slope of the yield curve or any other metric.

This week