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Op-ed 

Samuel Jackson’s Dangerous Posture on The New Currency

 

The Editor,

There is an essential banality to one Samuel Jackson’s boast about challenging anyone who thinks the idea of printing a new currency is a waste of time and resources. This man lives for the spotlight and to be heard; that is: even when he is purposefully lying and engaging in material misrepresentations.

This self-styled economic genius thinks that during a myriad period of economic uncertainties in our country, our concerns or desire to know how introducing a new currency is going to help stabilize our economy and addressing our abysmal economic woes, are invalid? Does he blissfully and incautiously ignore the very ugly recent precedents that are informing our reluctance to embrace this initiative? He needs to tell us what happened to the “Great Mopping” up exercise or strategy that was supposed to help our economy? Why Tweah and the government have been unable to give any proper accounting of the 150 million American dollars Tweah single-handedly put on the market and allegedly divvied out among money changers? Instead of Sam just coming here with a bigshot and condescending disposition, he needs to give us a credible and comprehensive explanation on how the government’s introduction of a new currency would help to mitigate the problem of money laundering, decrease the expected rate of inflation, and increase output in our country.

For starters, we already have very huge deficits: our government spends more than it earns in taxes and other revenue, and we have been foolishly borrowing and signing stupid concessions agreements to cover or pay for expenditures. Although we have gotten no head or tail about the 150 million wasted on a useless mopping exercise, we are now about to spend another 34 million-plus American dollars on a venture that is not going to have any proper oversight or control. How in the hell are we to be happy over this new proposal?

Seems like anything the feckless and reckless Tweah tells Weah, he listens and makes it a serious matter of public policy. We have a Central bank that should have oversight and the ability to tell the President a big NO or at least get on the record for disagreeing with this stupid bold move, but the bank has no autonomy and submits to the whims and caprices of the President and his corrupt political officials. We have a mostly uneducated and corrupt legislature that listens and agrees with any dumb proposal coming from this not too sharp President’s mouth.

This move is the brainchild of political opportunism and is not informed or inspired by any serious economic due diligence, Oppong Weah just wants enough money to spend and get elected the next few years, and is not concerned about the long term adverse economic implications. It is simply dangerous to allow an irresponsible government to exert political influence on monetary policies; we do not have any problem with our central government establishing goals of our monetary policies, but we are insisting that the Central Bank, a supposedly independent institution, should be the one establishing and conducting these goals. For Sam to pretend that this is not political maneuvering, only speaks to his intentional desire to ingratiate himself to Weah and display a blatant disregard for the economic future of Liberia.

We need to introduce policy mechanisms that will help in stabilizing, instead of exacerbating our current situation. We need a strict policy that will help address money laundering. By the way, the most notorious money launderers in the country are the politicians that get rich overnight, (this list includes the President). The corrupt Ellen Sirleaf can also relate. We can also employ reliable monetary instruments aimed at addressing incautious economic activities (overspending) and the loose supply of money on our markets. That is the way forward, and not printing and putting a new currency on the market that we will have no control over.

Wasn’t this same guy FOR, then AGAINST, then again FOR the “mopping up exercise” that ended up being an exercise in futility and corruption? C’MON MAN! Being smart and credible should not be mutually exclusive traits; why do you think it is a decent thing to always mortgage your soul and intellect to the devil?

Lastly, quit goading me to buy your book, Samuel Jackson,-I have already gone through a substantial part of it. I consider it an endless Rolodex of second-hand information most of us were/are already privy to. Not even you can tell us what your thesis is in your much-touted publication. And yes, my mention of thesis is purposeful; it stems from the fact that you keep bragging that it is a scholarly work. At best, your book is a decently written annotated bibliography used to support a well-documented theory about Liberia being a rich land with very poor people(The paradox). Stop acting like institutions and people are clamoring for and wiping it off the shelves with the aim of using them as instructional materials.

Samuel Jackson, between you and Samuel Tweah and George Weah, I am finding it hard to decide who is responsible for all the mess we are in today.

—-Paul Jackson

 

Main Photo: New Dawn Liberia[credit]

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