Thursday, 20 October 2016

Turning The DKM Tragedy Into A Political Football Is Beyond The Pale

There are occasions when it is pretty hard not to feel contempt for some of our nation's politicians. Why are they so cynical sometimes?

The question is: Why are some politicians bent on exploiting the plight of the victims of the now-defunct savings and loans company, DKM, in the Brong Ahafo Region?

Why seek to make political capital out of  what are the personal tragedies of scores of vulnerable people, I ask?

The fact of the matter, is that victims of DKM  ought to be told bluntly that they allowed greed to cloud their judgement. So why are some politicians bent on making them think that somehow they are entitled to government bailouts for their own follies?

Is the concept of "moral hazard" not a key point in banking? We must not pander to their foolish disregard of even the most basic rules of personal finance: the importance of  avoiding investment products that offer super-high returns.

They got their fingers burnt making daft  investment decisions, which  no sane individual with a modicum of financial literacy would have contemplated, let alone acted upon.

They have no one but themselves to blame for their plight. Just where did they think DKM was going to generate the massive profits needed to give them the kind of la-la-land rates of return on the monies they were in vesting in the ponzi scheme it was in reality operating?

They got their just desserts for being so greedy. However, on a purely human level, and this being Ghana, the land of Fa ma Nyame, those DKM victims also  need to be reassured that a creative way to help them, will be forthcoming, after the elections.

What is needed, is for responsible and mature politicians to come up with a practical  solution, which will enable those who genuinely lost monies they actually paid to DKM, to recover some of that cash - without burdening hapless taxpayers.

Such a scheme must only benefit victims with a history of meeting their tax obligations - with cash held in verifiable accounts with that now-defuct savings and loans company: which operated mostly in the Brong Ahafo Region (and parts of the north one gathers).

Grandstanding for political advantage by raising the thorny issue of the DKM debacle during the campaign season  - when presidential and parliamentary elections loom large - is disgraceful,  cruel and monstrous.

It is giving false hope to DKM's victims. And those politicians doing so must bow their heads in shame. Are such ruthless and amoral politicians fit to be in government, one wonders?

Going forward, clearly, conventional thinking will not solve the problem - as the paltry amounts the official liquidators are  reported to be paying out to DKM's depositors, now confirm.

No politician should burden taxpayers by promising to repay DKM's victims, with taxpayers' money, should they win power after the December elections.

Since the vast majority of the members of our  nation's political class seldom do any original thinking, here is this blog's two pesewas - which they can chew on below.

Instead of playing Kokofu-football-politricks with it, why don't all the candidates in the presidential and parliamentary elections appeal directly to the banks in Ghana, to set up a fund, into which they should pay a portion of the cash they hold in dormant accounts that have remained inactive for a reasonably lengthy period, to be decided by the banking industry itself? Food for thought.

Above all, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) ought to show leadership by encouraging the commercial banks in Ghana to take that approach - and the banks ought to get tax rebates for so doing from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) duly sanctioned by Parliament.

After all, those banks need the goodwill of the general public, now, more than at any period of their industry's history, thus far - as more and more of the disruptive  mobile  money products of the telcos gain in popularity.

Finally, it ought to be pointed out to those politicians making political capital out of what are the personal tragedies of real people, that their cynicism is beyond the pale.

Turning the DKM tragedy into a political football is disgraceful - and is totally unacceptable. And it is callous and inhumane to boot.  We rest our case.

Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem o: asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.



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