Refinancing and Vigilante Justice

Refinancing. It’s a good thing.

We were informed by 24Ora that AIB accomplished a historical transaction. It concluded the refinancing of the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino to the tune of 182.5 million. The article went on to credit all the good people who worked on the complicated financial deal including the Aruba Growth Fund, and the AIB in its role as mandated lead arranger, financier and agent.

So, listen, it’s a good, thing. You have nothing to worry about, on the contrary.

Every business initiative requires financing, in order to make it happen. Any development in Aruba and around the globe must come up with a plan, and identify a deep-pocket institution to handle its financing.

The Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino found its initial financing in the USA, like most other hotels. But recently the resort paid off the USA lender, and received its financing from a local source. AIB.

That means that 100% of the money was raised locally.

For AGF, an Aruban fund, it was important to shift its financing here, because then the money stays here. The fees and interest paid every year stay on island. Otherwise it all goes overseas. As an Aruban company AGF was obviously familiar with the legal system, the banking system, Central Bank’s policies, so it was easier for them to put the contract together.

AGF hopes that other hotels/businesses will follow and create more business on-island. If we do our business here, the money stays here, and fuels additional local business. The example of the recent AGF transaction proves that the Aruban banks can be competitive, and that the structure of loans is apparently much simpler here. Congrats everyone!



A great number of year ago, an individual by the name of Bernard Goetz, shot and wounded four teenagers on a New York City subway. According to the story, they cornered him, he felt threatened, they asked him for money and he unzipped his jacket, took out a concealed revolver the shot them.

He was labeled the Subway Vigilante in the newspapers of the time, a hero for standing up to bullies, and a villain for over-reacting, and shooting young, unarmed teenagers, a number of times.

Goetz later surrendered to Police and was charged with several offenses, but interestingly, a jury found him not guilty of all charges except for one count of carrying an unlicensed firearm, for which he served eight months of a one-year sentence. In a civil suit, however, he was sued by the injured teens and was obliged to pay millions.

The Vigilante, the man who doesn’t take anything lying down, is a familiar theme and Aruba last week applauded a father who brutally avenged his daughter’s honor, by slicing a man. I went through some comments on social media: Sit your sentence, proudly, was the common tone of the comments.

Not a single social media reaction was negative, they were all supportive of the outraged father whose daughter suffered an indignation.

Fact: We confuse vengeance as justice.

But what the vigilante phenomenon means is that some of the trust we had in law enforcement was lost. Eroded. Nos Ta Fada. The public is tired. Of what?

If truth be told the crime rate in NYC was high at the time of the Subway Vigilante and his actions started a conversation that eventually gave way to a major clean-up, that made the big apple what it is today, a much safer city. According to Wikipedia:  Violent crime in New York City has been dropping since 1991 and, as of 2017, is among the lowest of major cities in the United States.

The Subway Vigilante created a huge public reaction, which led to positive action. I hope our vigilante does the same thing for us.

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June 04, 2019
Rona Coster