From having a stable financial system with focus on supporting indigenous entrepreneurs, Jamaica’s economy fell into a prolonged collapse in the aftermath of the adoption of liberal monetary policies recommended by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in the 1990s.
The country’s banking system virtually collapsed with the national government having to bail out many of the deposit money banks, most of which had the largest branch network and provided a reliable credit base for the local business community as well as small scale businesses.
Although the Jamaicans responded to the large collapse of businesses, most of which buckled under the weight of unsustainable debts, in the form of a special purpose vehicle – FINSAC (Financial Sector Adjustment Company) – it was seen as too little too late.
The story of the near decimation of Jamaica’s indigenous business community following the introduction of liberal financial policies that disrupted its hitherto stable financial system has been told in a new book by Mrs. Valerie Dixon.
In “Too Black to Succeed – The FINSAC Experience”, Dixon aims to engage Jamaicans at home and across the global Diaspora, as well as the millennial generation of Jamaicans, who she feels need to be more conscious of the important socio-economic factors of the past and present which are determining the quality of their lives and future.
The book gives a personal account of the author’s experience of the impact of FINSAC on herself, her family and the large number of Jamaican entrepreneurs, who were negatively affected. Dixon also traces the historic, cultural and systemic marginalization, discrimination and struggles that have thwarted and frustrated the progress of the Jamaican people since slavery; and how FINSAC has been a perpetuation of this insidious process, which continues to stymie and ruin the aspirations and potential of many Jamaicans.
FINSAC Limited was established by the Government of Jamaica in January 1997 with a mandate to restore stability to Jamaica’s financial institutions. At that time, a number of Jamaican banks and insurance companies were experiencing liquidity and solvency shortfalls and an erosion in customer confidence.
Unfortunately, FINSAC has evolved into a uniquely ubiquitous metaphor for the economic malady that crippled the Jamaican economy through the 1990s and continues to this day to scar the economic lives of many in the Caribbean country. This two-decade-long economic nightmare blighted the economy and plunged the country into a vortex of economic decline with thousands of businesses closing their doors.
It locked Jamaica out of the great global economic surge that took place during the 1990s and 2000s, and has left the country lagging behind other countries which have already broken free from the recent global recession.
Dixon’s Too Black to Succeed – The FINSAC Experience opens the way for healthy discussion and analysis, outside of partisan politics and allows her country men to hear the compelling voice and views of a Jamaican, from the perspective of a committed citizen, educator and entrepreneur.
For a former British colony and a country made up essentially of freed slaves, the book evokes memories of its rich heritage of revolutionaries that fought valiantly to win freedom for their people. The revolutionary struggles of Marcus Garvey, Alexander Bedward and Leonard Howell – all heroes of the war against subjugation – were chronicled in the book.
Similarly, the inspiring and heroic exploits of the Maroons who formed independent communities as free men and women well before the abolition of slavery as well as the Morant Bay Rebellion of 1865 when freedmen rose in violent protest against laws that prevented from voting through high poll taxes, and their living conditions that had worsened following crop damage by floods, cholera and smallpox epidemics, and a long drought were told.
The book is available for pre-order on Amazon
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Africa Executive