02
Feb
09

The Bell Tolls for Thee, CIB

A few years ago, one of my ‘pumpkin-vine’ uncles gave my father a gift of a Clico Investment Bank (aka CIB) clock.  With a modern look, crisp lines, and a clean design, it soon assumed pride of place in our living room.  It replaced our old clock, which we relegated to a back room of the house.

After a while, we realised that its batteries needed to be changed more frequently than the old clock.  There were several times when someone left the house late due to the clock’s lagging.  Once we realised what the deal was, we did our best to ensure that we always had a fresh supply of batteries nearby.

Then, one day, the clock simply stopped working.

My CIB Clock

My CIB Clock

We changed the batteries; bought new ones in case the set we had were bad…  Nothing.

My father asked me to fix the clock.  “Try something… see if you can get it working, or else throw it away.”

“Pops, I’ve tried everything I could think of to get it working again… nothing I do seems to work.”

“Ah, well… it served its time.  Pity, though… it was a good clock.”

I hang the clock up on the back wall.

“You keeping it?”

“Yeah… leave it with me.  I’ll carry it to get fixed or something when I have the time.”

So the old (but still working) clock was restored to its place in the living room, and the CIB clock hung forlornly on the back wall.

Months pass.  Then… this happened:

(video: CL Financial bailout – pt1/3 | The Trinidad Guardian)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “CL Financial bailout – pt1/3 | The Tr…“, posted with vodpod

CL Financial Bailout Newsday Cover

CL Financial Bailout 4

With all the tension and uncertainty in the air, I decided to carry the clock to get fixed on Saturday.

“How much will you charge me to fix this clock?” I ask, showing the shop attendant the back of the clock.

After inspecting the clockwork mechanism in the back, she says “(TT) $60 (about US$9.50)…  and we’ll replace the entire clock mechanism for you, too.  It needs to change.”

“No problem.  You take LINX?

“Yes.”

“Cool… I’ll wait.”  I hand her the clock.

“Oh!” the shop attendant exclaims.  “Its a CIB clock!!!”

“I figured since they needed to fix the company up that it was time I got the clock fixed up too!”

She laughs.  “Yeah… they really need to get that whole money thing sorted out.”

I wait around for awhile, then decide to leave and return later for the clock.

When I get back, the watch repairman hands me the clock.  “The battery leaked out and spoiled the clock.  We put in new clockwork with a new battery.”

“Where’s the old clock mechanism?” I ask.

“I threw it in the bin.  Its of no use”

“Can I get it back?  I want to take a look at it.”

“Sure… its a paper dustbin, so it should still be fairly clean.  Let me put it in a bag for you…”

He takes it out and shows me the stains the battery acids left behind.

“You need to be careful not to let the same thing happen to the new clockwork,” he said sighing. “Change the battery every 3 months.”

“For whatever reason, this clock eats up batteries, and sometimes we only remember to change it when it starts losing time.”

“Hmm… strange.  Anyway, you take care.”

“I will.  You too.”

When I get back home, I show my father the clock, and the old mechanism.

I put the clock back up on the wall…

The one in the back room of the house.

Peace and Rice,

jw

~~~

More video on the CLICO takeover, here and here.

Follow the story, here.

Here are some historical tidbits from 2004 on Clico’s moving and shaking.

“Clico invests in art” – Trinidad Guardian Jul 15, 2004

SEC, Clico squabble over ‘energy’. Fight over fund – Trinidad Guardian Jul 17, 2004

“‘Best of times’at Clico’s ammonia plants” – Trinidad Guardian Nov 4, 2004.

“Bank now a subsidiary as Duprey takes Republic” – Trinidad Guardian Nov 16, 2004.

“Duprey has Global plans for Republic” – Trinidad Guardian Nov 18, 2004.

Remember, hindsight is always 20-20.

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