The Reality of the Parallel Foreign Exchange Market of Trinidad and Tobago

The Reality of Sourcing US Dollars on the Alternate Market of Trinidad and Tobago

The Business Guardian of June 8, 2017 on page 3 presented the foreign exchange reality of and the counter strategy to satisfy the weekly US Dollar demand of a player in the production and supply of the dominant source of consumed animal protein in T&T. It was revealed that the weekly demand for USD of this single player was between USD 600,000 to USD 700,000 of which the licit forex dealers supplied 25% of the USD demand, with another 25% supplied by the licit forex dealers in the form of Euros leaving some 40% to 50% of the weekly demand of USD to be supplied by “other” sources or the alternate forex market of T&T. The testimony of the player in the article confirms the existence of an alternate forex market and the fact that a strategic private sector entity is now forced to access this market on a weekly basis simply because of the inability of the licit market to quench demand for forex. The licit economy is then forced to deal with the alternate market and the state apparatus is in fact legitimising the alternate market by granting it expanding operational space.

What then is the structure of the supply of USD on the alternate market that enables the sale of some USD 300,000 per week to a single player on a sustainable basis? The key is sustainability! It is most obvious to those not in denial that the illicit trades must be part of this alternate market not because they need to turn the USD they earn from their export trade into T&TD but because they choose to do so to gain strategic advantages in the social order of T&T thereby deepening their power wielded over the social order. USD sourced from the transnational traffickers and their affiliates will be of the required sustainable volume and availability to have the buyers become ultimately dependent on this source and at the right time the buyer can and will become an employee as the supplier moves to take control of the enterprise. By buying their USD through the intermediaries/straw men they utilise in such markets you inevitably become tied into a nexus where there is no amicable separation or severance. There is no separation save with death and you are eternally grateful and forever waiting for the next shoe to drop for this is the way “The Game” is played as you are a rule taker not a rule maker. There is no way you can verify the source of the USD save and except you the buyer is already in “The Game. Once a target identified by the strategic plan of the transnational organisation and enters the market you are the fly in the huge sticky web of the transnational spider. Don’t lose your head! The other market suppliers are the proceeds from corruption and the earnings of small players in the illicit trades which cannot guarantee being the sustainable supply demanded by the private sector. Likewise, remittances of USD that have bypassed the licit sector is not up to the task. Already the USD cash shipments interdicted illustrate the existence of the flow of smuggled USD cash which is vital to the entry and dominance of the transnational traffickers of the alternate forex market. As long as it’s strategic to the operational plan of the transnational traffickers they will enter, expand supply and exercise hegemony over the alternate forex market of T&T and in so doing expand and deepen their presence and power over sectors of the licit economy of T&T which will further impact the social order of T&T. This is the next stage in the replication of the model of the Dominican Republic in T&T! This then is the strategic imperative that will drive entry and hegemony. Pax Mexicana!

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