Opposition Leader has to be delusional

Dear Editor,
My attention was drawn to the Opposition Leader’s press conference on Thursday, wherein he was once again asked by a reporter about his party’s oil and gas (O&G) advisory committee. In response to the question, the Opposition Leader somehow found it fitting to insinuate that I am an oil and gas technical resource for the Government, and that his economic advisor Elson Low is on their O&G committee, and that Elson Low destroyed me in a debate. Well, this is quite amusing.
First, let me say that the Opposition Leader has to be delusional to believe that his advisor could destroy anyone in any debate, save and except for his emotive theatrical performances.
Elson Low admittedly embellished his resume by claiming to have worked at Goldman Sachs, cleverly suggesting it was some sort of high-level job. But the truth is that when I cornered him on this, that he worked there as an intern, he admitted. Then when he returned to Guyana, he worked as a junior level analyst at SARA. So, he is a junior, inexperienced functionary, he had never functioned at a high level in any organization prior to his appointment as chief economic advisor.
He is also not an economist, though he presents himself as one. Elson Low has a bachelor’s degree in economics. To be an economist, one is required to have at minimum a master’s or PhD in economics, neither of which Elson Low possesses; nor does he have any published papers in reputable academic journals.
The debate he is referring to between Elson Low and me was a debate organized by the University of Guyana, and there was no announced winner of the debate; yet, Elson declared himself the winner, although, at the same debate, a high school student asked him of his alternative development plan, a question which he, along with the political party he represents, has failed to produce to the nation to date.
In relation to the insinuation that I am an oil and gas resource to the Government, let me clarify that I am not. I am not an advisor, nor am I employed by either the Government or the party. The Government has extremely competent and qualified oil and gas technocrats within the Ministry, aided by international advisors such as IHS Market.
Additionally, it is worth noting that Elson Low, as the chief economic advisor, has failed to articulate, by way of research and analysis, his party’s position on ring fencing, the fiscal terms, the Petroleum Activities Legislation, and the new model PSAs. These are all thematic areas on which I have publicly articulated my position.
Another good example is the interest rate question. The Opposition Leader, like the Kaieteur News (KN) publisher, was reportedly asking about the interest rate that ExxonMobil Guyana has contracted their debt financing at. To this end, there was an article carried by KN quoting the Opposition Leader…that “Guyanese deserve to know secret interest rates paid to ExxonMobil.
Now, if Elson Low were a real economist, he would have advised the Opposition Leader that the interest rate is not secret. The implicit interest can be calculated. All he has to do is obtain the financial statements which are filed at the Deeds Registry and conduct the analysis, where he would find that the implicit interest rate, which is something he has to know how to calculate and know how to analyze the financial statements, is 5%.
For ease of reference, here is an article I have written explaining this analysis since last year. https://www.guyanastandard.com/…/i-disagree-with-calls…/.
Elson Low has thus far failed to demonstrate his competence to perform these very basic analyses, so it is perplexing as to how he could destroy anyone, much less debate anything cogently and robustly. But the poor fella is in a unique position, hence my empathy for him. I understand he needs validation, and the Opposition Leader is the only person from whom he could obtain the much-needed validation that he seeks and requires for his psychological stability, although he is only fooling himself.
Interestingly to note in the Opposition Leader’s favourite “vocabulary” logically, if Low was so good, so competent, and so brilliant, why is he not in Parliament? Why was he not made a Member of Parliament to represent the Opposition on Oil and Gas or Finance? And why was he denied being nominated to represent the Opposition on the Investment Committee for the Natural Resources Fund (NRF)?
By his own admission on his Facebook page, and based on credible sources from within the Opposition, I am duly informed that he wanted to be on the Investment Committee of the NRF badly, but was denied by the very party he serves. So much for being a destroyer in economic debates.
Joel Bhagwandin