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Showing posts from May, 2012

Keeping Up with the Spanish Caribbean

The tourism sector may not be as lucrative as say, the energy sector, but in a tourism dependent region like the Caribbean, it remains a force to be reckoned with.  For a while now I wanted to comment on some trends observable at the regional level as well as within the English speaking Caribbean.  I also wanted to reflect the concern already being expressed in other blogs about some property development projects.
At the regional level, CTO (Caribbean Tourism Organisation) statistics have demonstrated for the better part of the last decade, that there is somewhat of a shift in visitor numbers from the English speaking destinations to the Spanish speaking ones.  This is old news as it is easy to see that Mexico has almost completely recovered from recent problems and Cuba continues to experience its biggest tourism boom since the revolution.  In early May, the Cuban National Statistics Bureau (NBS) announced that arrivals have hit an unexpected record in the first four months of 2012 …

New Gas Reality

I was recently looking for a way to pass the time while awaiting a flight at the airport in the Bahamas when I picked up a few magazines.  The first was the April 30th edition of Fortune Magazine where the headline was “The United States of Natural Gas – How the new 100-year supply of shale gas is reviving the American economy”. 
As the title suggest, it discusses not just the renewed surge in deepwater production in the Gulf but also the boom in domestic natural-gas supplies, which has come mostly from hard-to-reach shale formations tapped by the controversial fracking process.   The bottom line is that the US is now a net exporter of finished petroleum products.  Something not seen since 1949.  To help meet this demand, the oil giants (minus BP who is apparently being squeezed out for obvious reasons) are building and expanding Gulf Coast refineries.  The region is seeing major investment for the first time in four decades. Fatca Tax Singapore
Some analysts believe that this boom c…

Someone Always Pays

Most agree that the global economic system is in the midst of unprecedented changes.  The Global Risks 2012 report is a survey of 469 global experts and it identified chronic problems with government finances and severe income inequality as the most prevalent risks over the next decade.  The report notes that the growing number of young people with little chance of finding a job, the increasing number of elderly people dependent on states deeply in debt and the expanding gap between rich and poor were all fuelling resentment worldwide. 
The managing director responsible for the report is quoted as saying that "For the first time in generations, many people no longer believe that their children will grow up to enjoy a higher standard of living than theirs…This new malaise is particularly acute in the industrialised countries that historically have been a source of great confidence and bold ideas."  At the same time, I am among those who have a positive outlook.  There is so …

One Love

Over the last few months, we have been going thru a Bob Marley ‘phase’ at home.  I blame my wife really who has decided that Bob would be the music of choice in the house.  Saleema’s always felt a connection with Jamaica maybe because her parents lived there for some years before moving to New York where she was born.  I always say that my earliest memories of reggae music though, come from spending time with my uncle Steve and aunty Mynell who lived in St Ann’s.  Of course, I thought that quite synchronistic because Bob Marley was born in the parish of St Ann in Jamaica.  Anyway uncle Steve had and probably still has a love for reggae music in general and Bob Marley in particular.  So much was this love for the music, that as we grew up in Trinidad, I would often wonder if my uncle was a rasta – minus the dreads.
A couple of weeks ago I was on a boat off the coast of St Vincent with a bunch of people who work in the travel industry in the UK and the crew started playing Bob Marley lou…