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Old March 26th, 2008, 03:35 PM   #21
Ni3lS
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Indeed And Panama is absolutely NOT a third world country.. I think there are living more poor people in the us than in Panama.. If its so poor, why do they build the apartments so luxury? There are so many tourists coming. Maybe the builders are cheap. But take a look at Dubai. Everyone thinks it's rich and perfect, but the builders over there are even cheaper than in Panama. It's just the same. Rich countries. cheap builders. Don't worry, they're earning money like water if the tourists keep on coming. And believe me, they don't build that many residential towers and hotels if there are no tourists coming to Panama City.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 03:37 PM   #22
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You don't have to watch that many prison break episodes
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[2017] > Düsseldorf, Mallorca, Geneva, Annecy, Montafon, Vorarlberg, Barcelona, Zürich, Crete, Lisbon, Cascais, Málaga, Ronda, Dolomiti, Sistiana, Kitzbühel
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Old March 27th, 2008, 01:20 AM   #23
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I wouldn't normally reply to those kinds of comments, but I really can't stand being attacked for only speaking the truth. As short as my 5 month stay in Panama was, I assure you Dr. Drums that I've traveled to more places within Panama, visited more cultural groups, and learned more about it then you have. In fact, several of the places I went are not accessible to all but very few poeple. As distressing as it may seem, I urge you to read one of the following links, which clearly identify Panama City as a major international money laundering hub as recently as two days ago.
http://www.isn.ethz.ch/news/sw/details.cfm?ID=16655
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/amer...ry/469054.html

BTW when referring to Panama's rural agricultural economy, I'm not referring to Panama City (which as I said clearly, is a very special case) but to the rest of Panama, a place I found truly enjoyable and genuine.

Here are some quotes for you from a Panamanian real estate investor's magazine that illustratemy concerns regarding the source of funds behind the proposed devlopments:

"By some estimates there are a staggering 20,000 units on the market in a city with a population of less than a million, the vast majority of which could not afford a single one of these new properties. According to the most recent edition of a weekly real estate bulletin called “Square Feet Panama” there are more than 40,000 condos and apartments proposed or under construction. “A year ago it was 11,000 units.” Although it is not the local market that developers are seeking to fill their buildings, it is still shocking that condos priced at a total of $5.7 billion are on the market in a nation with a $16.5 billion economy."...

"The “Square Feet Panama” article reports further, “Speculators are the ones who have put down deposits on 70 percent to 90 percent of these units.” One man told us he lived in a finished building that was eerily empty because so many of the units were purchased by investors. Checking for interior lights, or the lack thereof, on an evening drive-by also gives cause for caution. Miami had the same feel of exuberance a few years ago."...

"It’s hard to find evidence that white-haired North Americans are mounting an invasion of retirees, and you can almost hear the air escaping from the bubble.” I find this pretty amazing fodder for a real estate publication but they write that when speculation turns to where the money is coming from to buy these units, “people look over Panama’s shoulder and see Colombia, where cocaine has built fortunes looking to be laundered."

Just for your general information, the average annual salary of a Panamanian is $4,150.00. Thus, for any average Panamanian, of which more than 2/3 of the population do not live in the capital, buying one of these condos at an average price of approximately $280,000.00 is equivalent to 67.5 years of their entire annual income. You go and find me a bank that will lend you $280,000.00 when you only make $4150/year and I'll give you my first born. So since me and my Panamanian friends clearly have 'no idea what we are talking about', what, if any explanation can be offered for this?

P.S. I was involved with a group studying the environmental impacts of the CEMIS project in the Colon Free Zone on the nearby Punta Galeta Marine Reserve (The effective eradication of one of the last remaining Mangrove-Seagrass-Coral Reef ecosystems on the Caribbean coastline of Panama). In addition, some colleagues at STRI have studied the projected effect of the canal expansion project that is touted as the glorious road to riches for Panama, on the country's fresh water supply. I am well aware of the socio-economic structure of Panama City and the reliance of Panamanians on the canal for income and trade. I wonder if poeple in Panama are at all concerned that because of the canal and it's expansion plan, and the corresponding waste of fresh water reserves, Panama's northern slopes (which are presently covered with lush rainforests) will eventually be at risk of becoming desert, and the fresh water that suppies Panama City and the Canal, taken from these regions and piped over the mountains, will likely go with it.

But hey, a couple of cool buildings will make up for it, right?
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Old March 27th, 2008, 01:56 AM   #24
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You seem bitter.
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