Troy Talks: Episode 4 • A tale of two bankers

It is a time of wealth and confidence. It is an island filled with crime.

It is a government of well managed finances. It is a government that can’t function for s**t.

This is the tale of two very different Guams, one told by a banker, the other told by another banker, in a story about the year ahead by Haidee Eugenio Gilbert in the Pacific Daily News today.

The one with the rose-tinted outlook for 2024 actually is a retired banker. Well, she’s also the governor of Guam. Phil Flores, the president of BankPacific, is the financial expert with a more sober perspective that aligns a bit closer to the reality of common people.

And I get it, we expect our governor to be optimistic, especially with a new year message. But, when she says things like ‘Guam quickly bounced back and recovered’ from Typhoon Mawar, I wonder when the last time was that she’s taken a drive out of Tamuning, Tumon, and Hagatna.

Then there’s this part of the story – buried all the way at the bottom – which really really irks me:

“The governor, for her part, said the relief measures provided in 2021 through 2023 ‘did not hurt our finances as many naysayers thought.’

“‘Rather, our government finances are strong as evident by three fiscal years of surpluses verified and confirmed by financial audits done by reputable auditing companies,’ she said. ‘Evidenced by our business privilege tax payments near or surpassing pre-pandemic numbers, it is evident that people are spending.’”

Governor, calm down. We’re spending so much because we don’t have a choice. Everything is so f**king expensive.

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