How Will Panama Weather the Economic Storm?


This short article states that volume (and I guess revenues) for the canal will be just slightly down in 1999.

"the authority said this year's transit volume would be down 5 per cent to 294.1 million tons, 19.9 million tons less than in the previous fiscal year, which ended on September 20..."

Presumably, this is a lot smaller revenue decline than for Costa Rica or any other country in Central America.  But the Canal isn't the only source of revenue for Panama, in any case.

What's the guy from Panama thiunk?


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.


I am not sure if your asking this question of me and of moving to panama or not.  To move here is not a big deal. You will have to fill out some paperwork and bring some copies from the states. You can do all this yourself but to hire a good lawyer would be a better way to do it. It could speed things up a little, and cover your bases.

You must know that there are many types of visa's that will allow you to live here, one is you must show you have a income of at least 500.00 plus 100.00 more for your wife. Now I have not checked on these amounts, and things do change here a lot. but that is the amount I remember it being.

This income must be from a source that is steady, like s.s. check, or a reitrement check.

Now if you don't have that, then you can apply for a investors visa, by investing in something here in panama.

you can apply for a person of means, which you have to put x amount of dollars in a c.d type account in the bank.

The whole thing is to make sure if they allow you to come here and live that you have the means to take care of yourself.

You will need a a copy of a police report from your home town/state, showing that you and your wife are not wanted for any crimes, that is not the same as if you have been arrested for anything. they are not asking that, they just want to make sure your not wanted by the law.

you will need last three years 1040 forms, plus a letter from your bank stating that you have a account with them since whenever and that you are in good standings. This info is needed when you go to open a bank account down here.

copy of your marriage lic.

a copy of whatever you are using to show your proof of income.

all the above must be sent to panama's embassy in the u.s. for their stamps, without that stamp they are worthless to you.

If you need help or have questions I might can help with, then write me at and I will try to put you on the right path. 


I agree with you.  Your

I agree with you.  Your insight is right on and being proved more right every day.  For someone who can afford it, what is the process to come down there? How long a process is it to locate there-paperwork wise?

I hop you don't mind the questions but knowing someone that has been there, done that is invaluable.  We just retired and are very interested in a situation such as yours with like-minded people.


not really, because I got a really good buy on it so the cost of shipping it as well as the duty added to it will still be under what I could have bought one here for.

as long as they don't keep it on the docks for months and steal stuff off of it I should be ok lol..

I stand somewhat corrected

According to the official numbers (though they could be wrong) at, "China" bought about $220B of US debt in 2008, which is a little less than I estimated of $400B for 15 months.  I'm not able to figure out more up-to-date figures than Dec 2008, a month when, according to the table, China halved its purchase of the dollar-denominated bonds.

But when I look at, and add up the treasury instruments plus the agency bonds, it's over $400B for the year 2008.  (This chart is titled 'purchases by foreigners' and the chart is for Mainland China only.)

Well, after staring at those charts some more, I feel numb and confused.

Yo aren't scared of what the customs officers will demand for the dump truck import?

china japan

China is the top holder of US Treasury bills, with 696.2 billion dollars worth of the securities in December followed by Japan with 578.3 billion dollars, according to the latest official data from Washington.  

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Sunday urged China to keep buying US debt as she wrapped up her first overseas trip, during which she agreed to work closely with Beijing on the financial crisis.


now the states are broke, we handed over all that money to china to start with for plastic lawn chairs from walmart,  now that we can't buy anymore of it from them, they are hurting as well and shutting down. the whole world is running from the dollar, so why on earth would china keep buying our dollar? why buy into worthless bonds? they are getting something for their dollars, not just a bond that could be worthless.

I'm spending the crap out of my money right now, buying things left and right from the states at half price and shipping it down. yeah I know not much good if the dollar goes down, but I would rather have something like a new dump truck then to see 50k be turned into 5k


that's 15 months old

I think since that warning came out, that China has bought another $400 billion of US bonds, and I suspect they are still buying at the rate of $30 Billion a month.  Me, I'd rather have RMB than dollars but I don't have have any dollars anyway.


China not buying dollars?

Do you have any evidence that China has stopped buying dollars?  Recently I read that Costa Rica was buying dollars (obviously a trivial amount) - but there must be a lot of people buying dollars to keep the dollar at 1.25 euro and .025 barrels of oil.  Somebody has bought a lot of dollars in the past year and they are still buying, I think.

I did watch the video - interesting history.  One good way to get the last word - make somebody watch a 90 minute video!! -

I agree: the fed is starting to print money, but it hasn't had to ratchet it up yet, because there are so many investors, domestic and international, who are still giving the US gov't money on loan for cheap interest rates (I am pretty sure this includes the dollar but couldn't find any facts on it one way or the other).

I wouldn't be surprised to see some inflation of the U.S. dollar in the next year, even possibly something very sudden.  Some investors who have flocked to the dollar recently might get hit pretty hard.  Whether gold is a good value or overbought right now, obviously a lot of people wonder that.  I personally think real estate and equities are likely to do well.  I wouldn't buy GM stock of course but some other stuff that isn't in such a dismal industry has hope left I believe.


No one is buying our dollars, right now china is getting hit hard, they have closed over 100k factories and millions of them have started to leave the city and go back to the country. 

who is handing us this bail out money? well the fed of course. they can print whatever we like. but most of the time, its just them writing in the amount on the books. it just takes a key stroke and there you have it.

The fed and a handful of bankers who own it, yes bankers, not our government, the fed reserve is no more federal government then federal express. These crooks have been taking over parts of world  for years. What they will do is go down to say brazil a country that needs money of course, they get with that country's leaders and loan them any amount they wish, the more the better, and they have that country put up something, like o how about the whole amazon river basin, then of course they can't pay back the loan when it comes due,  so they might extend that loan or hand them a little more, then they have them so far in debt they can't ever repay it. so they come back in and say well hand it over.

so these guys just bought the amazon river basin and now have full control over it to do with it what they wish, for how much?

well the fed, prints hundred dollar bills by the sheet, each sheet will cost them maybe 3.00 to print, and no there is no over sight on what they are doing, or how many they print. They have control of almost all the gold in the world, and with this they can make it's price go up or down. They also  control the stock markets.

They have been the backers of every war, and back both sides,  the only time I know of that they didn't back both sides is when napoleon sold louisiana to jefferson for gold to back his war. a war in which he lost.

so this is who is backing our bail out plan.  why would they? well look what they get in return, a whole nation that is well trained and armed to fight anyone, any place at anytime.

this is a great video to watch about when the u.s. attacked panama


I thought joe is receiving disability payments, and his wife gets the EIC, or am I wrong?  Plus his cousin works for BofA and his other cousin is with GM.  China is not buying dollars?  Then who the *&#*$ is?  I saw that the dollar is very popular right now.  I don't think it's possible that the 0% interest rate is so attractive?  Are you sure China is not buying dollars any more?

then how does joe get money?

china has been loaning us money for years, and they have had a ton of money invested in our markets. now they too are in trouble and have not only stopped loaning us money, but are dumping the dollar.  even if they can find someone to loan us money how is joe going to make it without a job? no one is going to loan him one thin dime. even people with great credit can't get a car loan right now.


and yes I am a good neighbor to a point!! I was talking with a friend of mine months back telling him I think this is going to get bad so start stocking up on things and he said well if it does happen like you think then we are packing up and coming to your house, I said well you better have a better plan then that cause that one isn't going to work out for you like you think.. I mean are you kidding me? the writings on the wall but your not going to read it, and think I am a little nuts, but if it does happen you plan on coming to my house for me to feed and protect you and your family??? don't think so.

always a pleasure

Nice story and insights.  Sounds like you'd be a good neighbor.  But if everyone keeps lending money to the U.S. at 4% interest, who cares if Joe has a job?  Joe doesn't need to have a job because there's ample housing, ample junk from China, ample food from huge wheat fields.  The U.S. economy strangely doesn't even need workers anymore.

canal zone down

I think the world has been kicked where it hurts and no place is going to be spared the pinch.  Being down only 5 percent which is what they are saying, I feel is B.S.  I read just the other day where one big shipping company was going to go around the canal, they said they could pick up more stops and save around 200k per trip. There cost per ship, loaded or not is 350k.  Also as the ice melts due to globle warming that has also opened up another route.

plus shipping is down to almost nothing world wide. many ships are parked and not even needed.

Here's some things I thought of before I came here. I knew this was coming three years ago. I sold out and moved out of the u.s. I bought a huge home with a lot of land for 350k. I have seen these prices go up 4 times that much.

now I will sit back and watch them go down 4 or 5 times as much.

but the things that made me move here are, and bear with me because a lot of folks think I am crazy but if you read the paper, or watch tv you will start to see maybe I wasn't so crazy after all.  I feel the u.s. is doomed. The fed can print all the money they like, and hand it over in bail outs till the cows come home, the bottom line is if JOE doesn't have a job on monday then he won't be eating two weeks later, and will have no car by two months, and no home a month after that.

now joe has two kids and a wife to feed, now what? food stamps, food bank? well the government was having a hard time before all this hit to handing out food stamps, now they really can't. food banks are over run with people.

joe might could sell his toy's but who has the money for them? everyone is in the same boat.

so you backed joe into a hard spot, and joe is going to do whatever he has to, to feed his kids.  now times joe by o lets say out of 305 million people, 100 million will be doing the same thing. its going to be a all out war in every town and city in the u.s.

when the winter comes thousands will die, same in the summer, from the heat and the cold alone.

so I came here, knowing that where I am I don't need ac/or heat all year round. I have a fresh water spring that flows around and through my property.  crops grow very well here, many fruit trees as well. 

There is around three million people who live here. two million live in the city, which is about a two hour drive away. the rest are spread out all over the rest of this country.  in my town there might be 6k people spread out all over these mountians.

I have a huge stock pile of food, fuel, and weapons. I am now speaking with other expats here to form a group to join together in case this thing really goes that far, to be able to put our resources together.

I'm not a dooms dayer, but I will and am ready as I can be just in case. I have no faith in the u.s. government being able to fix this thing,  and any person with a I.Q. above 50 knows that they are not doing what needs to be done to fix this.

one only needs to look at the past to see it, two trillion dollars the pentagon can't find? 2,000 for some washers they needed overseas that cost 1.25 in any hardware store, three million dollars to study bears shitting in the woods? 260k to remodel a bathroom? 700.00 for a hammer.

we have been robbed blind by these guys since the 1930's.

why on earth would we spend billions of dollars for gas? handing over money to people who use it to back people who want to kill us? when we have our own oil fields?  how about hydrogen? water and a little power.  how about releasing the solar panels that now can produce 50 percent more power from the sun light. mass produce them and at a cost so low every home can have them.

we sat by and watched as thousands of u.s. jobs were lost to oversea companies, and then we allowed illegals to come over by the millions to work for nothing, and then demand the same rights as you have. they get drivers lic. free health care, schools are paid for, all by us. One hospital has a man from mexico in their  I.C.U. unit going on two years now, he is brain dead and kept alive by machines, so far his bill is in the millions of dollars, he is illegal, but mexico will not take him, and his family is sueing to keep him there. who pays for this? you do.

here in panama you over stay your three months visa or work here without the right visa, you will be arrested, a pretty little stamp will be put in your passport, you will be put on the first plane home, and you can not return to panama for 5 years.

GM gets billions in bailout money, and what are they doing with it? spending a large bit of it in BRAZIL. now how is that going to help anyone in the u.s.? shouldn't it? I mean your the ones that are paying for it.

friends back home are telling me of long lines at gun stores, why do you think that is?  right now there is a bill making it way up the ladder to make a law that states, all ammo has to be coded with a number, and all bullets that don't have it must be destroyed!!

see if they can't take your guns, then they will find another way.

Still think I'm nuts for thinking this is coming? well maybe so, but your own government doesn't think so, they are getting ready for it to happen, yep, fema has been opening prison camps all over the country. o and yes you paid for it..

love you guys, please get your house in order, get ready, do whatever you have to do.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.