21st Century Skill Development for Small Economies

Of Interest - Virgin Islands Capital Resources

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21st Century Skill Development for Small Economies

    21st Century Skill Development for Small Economies Christopher Visentin Virgin Islands Capital Resources, Inc.   This coming October, The London School of Economics’ Latin America and Caribbean Centre and the Inter-American Development bank are jointly hosting a conference called “Skills for Development in a Changing World.” As the conference title suggests, the pressure… READ MORE

Buffeted by Hurricanes; Flattened by Debt

Buffeted by Hurricanes; Flattened by Debt Justin Moorhead Virgin Islands Capital Resources, Inc. The federal government is requiring we descend the proverbial rabbit hole and go further into debt to defray the cost associated with hurricanes Irma and Maria recovery. Government leadership should have rejected this offer. To do so would have required unity of… READ MORE

Highlighting Identity and Building Cultural Tourism

Highlighting Identity and Building Cultural Tourism Christopher Visentin Virgin Islands Capital Resources, Inc. Culture and heritage is a cornerstone of every community, and when that community’s economy relies on tourism, its local culture can be a valuable resource. The city of New Orleans, ten years after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, has experienced both a… READ MORE

There is No Free Lunch

There is No Free Lunch Justin Moorhead Virgin Islands Capital Resources, Inc. The decision to accept disaster recovery funding from FEMA in the form of senior lien pari passu debt is the tip of the iceberg of problems to come. Over the past weeks and months we willingly deluded ourselves that the federal government will… READ MORE

Inspiring Community Engagement to Ensure a Sustainable Local Tourism Product

Inspiring Community Engagement to Ensure a Sustainable Local Tourism Product Christopher Visentin Virgin Islands Capital Resources, Inc. In an earlier article, I explored the various types of sustainable tourism, and the potential benefits destination communities stand to gain from ecotourism and cultural tourism over the more common mass tourism product. Sustainable tourism prioritizes community well… READ MORE

Seeking Assistance Is Acknowledging Strength Not Weakness

Seeking Assistance Is Acknowledging Strength Not Weakness Justin Moorhead Virgin Islands Capital Resources, Inc. Over the past weeks we have benefited from an outpouring of support from diverse sources. All have responded knowing that what separates us is simply the timing of when assistance is required. Crises spur innovation and caring. The need is indisputable…. READ MORE

Ecotourism: Promoting Sustainability in the Tourism Product

      Eco tourism: Adding Sustainability to the Tourism Product   The tourism industry can be a double-edged sword for small communities whose economies rely on it for survival. Tourists bring in money, but the growth of the tourism product within a community can come at a significant cost if not properly managed. This… READ MORE

Sharing a Few Observations

Sharing a Few Observations Two ideas follow. First is the need to kick start economic activity beyond that of the construction sector. Second is to evaluate where we are in the recovery effort and if necessary make changes to ensure we are on track as to where we should be seven weeks following Irma. We… READ MORE

Prioritizing Recovery and Rebuilding the Tourism Industry Following a Disaster

Prioritizing Recovery and Rebuilding the Tourism Industry Following a Disaster By:  Christopher Visentin The recent spate of devastating hurricanes has brought the fragile economies of many small Caribbean communities in the storms’ path to a shuddering halt. Pressing issues such as regaining running water and electricity and rebuilding homes have replaced daily activities and ordinary… READ MORE

Addressing the Looming Cost of Rebuilding

Battered and bruised our communities have moved past back-to-back natural disasters and now face the rebuilding effort.

The Societal Benefits of Renewable Energy

The quest for sustainable energy solutions is a worldwide issue, and amid growing consensus of the dangers of climate change, finding a solution seems to become more and more urgent by the day.

Moving forward despite Irma

Crisis focuses our attention.  In the moment we are receptive to alternative solutions, which solve our problem and assure us that, once addressed, we need not revisit the same situation again in the near term.

Re-Thinking Development To Include Inclusion and Place

Power Point presentation associated with Justin Moorhead’s keynote address to the 2017 VI Economic Development Beneficiary Summit and 45th Anniversaty Event on St. Thomas, August 29, 2017, and St. Croix, August 31, 2017.

Impending G.E.R.S. Crisis Demands Immediate Action and a Concerted Commitment to Reform

Looming large over the Virgin Islands economy is its struggling Government Employee Retirement System, and the government’s quickly diminishing options to fix the problem.

Is tax increment financing an easy fix for financing project development?

The Water Island project development demonstrates the need for heightened transparency in government-funded projects

Climate Change. Do we need to be concerned?

Two recent articles by Amaziah George of the State of the Territory caught my attention. Both addressed the issue of climate change. Both spoke to my concern that as a community we are not appropriately focused on how climate change will impact our lives and livelihood and what should we be doing, now, to prepare for it.

As a Community’s Arts and Culture Sector Thrives, So Does its Economy

As a Community’s Arts and Culture Sector Thrives, So Does its Economy

Cruise Tourism and the Destination; Reconciling Divergent Realities

For many port communities, large-scale cruise tourism plays an outsized role in the local economy.

Water Taxi Service

Finally we begin to address downtown traffic congestion in Charlotte Amalie.

Reflections

There is a widely held believe that the way to cook a frog is to place it in pot of cold water and turn the heat up. The frog will remain in the pot. Alternatively, drop the frog into a boiling pot of water and it jumps out.

Might we also pursue technology start-ups?

Two recent articles, one posted on-line at VentureBeat and the other at Fast Company, lend impetus to the suggestion I discussed last month on this page concerning the Virgin Islands pursuing start-up technology companies in an effort to diversify its economy.

Investing in Economic Expansion

Expanding our economy requires both a willingness and ability to invest and participate in that expansion.

Rightsizing Government: A community effort.

How overstretched is government spending?

Revenues, rightsizing and structural deficit

On the matter of revenues, rightsizing and the structural deficit.

Moving Away From Operating in Silos

Government agencies are more effective when they work together towards defined goals.

Pursuing Consensus

Who saves us from ourselves?

What may lie ahead for the Virgin islands

As Virgin Islanders, two recent developments that impact the Caribbean, and more specifically the Virgin Islands, require our attention. The first is the election of Donald Trump. The second is Fitch Investors Services commentary on the further downgrade of the Virgin Islands government’s credit rating to B+, with a negative outlook.

Spending requires prioritizing choices

We cannot have anything, and surely not everything, unless we are willing to pay for it. This is true as individuals and more so as a community. Affordability is always a constraint in small communities where there are fewer individuals to share the burden of cost.

GERS is not just a government problem

The totality of the local government’s financial problem must be of concern to all of us.

Why I Write

Can we truly avoid a government finance melt down if we do the same as we have done for the past two decades?

Coming Rum War

The Caribbean is synonymous with sun-soaked beaches, palm trees, moon-splashed nights, pirates and rum — all of which add to the economic vitality of the region — but in the Virgin Islands, rum production contributes an outsized return to government revenue, considering the actual capital investment in the distilleries.

Federal solution for Puerto Rico’s debt is alarm bell for V.I.

The first two acts of Puerto Rico’s fiscal morality play have captivated the attention of territorial financial officers and pundits for the better part of the past eighteen months. The curtain now closes on the second act.

Es Complicado. It’s complicated.

Cuba is an interesting and appealing country. It seduces you by its size, diversity, history, and culture. You expect one reality and are surprised at almost every turn.

Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis and What to Learn From It

Forty years ago when I began my career in public finance I learned that investors invest in state and municipal debt where there is assurance of sufficient and timely repayment of borrowed funds.

Government Instrumentalities are Critical Players in Spurring Economic Development

Our government instrumentalities should consider moving beyond supporting economic development and assume a more proactive role in being engines of economic development.

Tourism and economic growth, competition and collaboration

The Virgin Islands economy remains challenged despite the upturn in government revenues and the repurposing of the former HOVENSA petrochemical facility.

The importance of financial analysis in public sector decision-making

The importance of financial analysis in public sector decision-making Author: Justin Moorhead, Managing Director, Virgin Islands Capital Resources, Inc. Published: 19 Jan 2016, Virgin Islands Daily News Public resources are routinely committed or leveraged to achieve some intended public good. Here in the Virgin Islands this usually involves land leases, concessions or preferential use agreements… READ MORE

On conversation and the developing of a community’s shared values

On conversation and the developing of a community’s shared values Author: Justin Moorhead, Managing Director, Virgin Islands Capital Resources, Inc. Published: 21 Dec 2015, Virgin Islands Daily News Virgin Islands Capital Resources, a 501 (c) 3 private foundation, is involved in community development through its investments in entrepreneurship and in its promoting of ideas, analysis… READ MORE

The Cuba Challenge

“The Cuba Challenge: New Ideas for Small-Island States” “The Cuba Challenge: New Ideas for Small-Island States” Leading the discussion is: Richard E. Feinberg, Senior Fellow (non-resident), Brookings Institution, and Professor, University of California, San Diego; Richard Bernal, Ambassador, Counselor for Jamaica, Inter-American Development Bank; and Ricardo Torres, Research Economist, Centre for the Study of the Cuban Economy, University… READ MORE

Professionalizing Our Economic Advantage

On the matter of professionalizing our economic advantage Author: Justin Moorhead, Managing Director, Virgin Islands Capital Resources, Inc. Published: 17 Nov 2015, Virgin Islands Daily News This week, the Caribbean-Central America Action will convene its 39th annual conference in Miami. The two days of discussion bring together the private and public sector around issues relevant… READ MORE

GERS and V.I. community cannot afford to fail to restructure employee retirement benefits

GERS and V.I. community cannot afford to fail to restructure employee retirement benefits Author: Justin Moorhead, Managing Director, Virgin Islands Capital Resources, Inc. Published: 14 Oct 2015, Virgin Islands Daily News The recent legislative hearing on the Government Employee Retirement System suggests that the conversation should no longer be on how to save the Defined Benefit… READ MORE

V.I. cannot shrug off yet another massive economic crisis; we must soon assess Cuba’s threat, then develop strategies

V.I. cannot shrug off yet another massive economic crisis; we must soon assess Cuba’s threat, then develop strategies Author: Justin Moorhead, Managing Director, Virgin Islands Capital Resources, Inc. Published: 29 Sep 2015, Virgin Islands Daily News Cuba’s disruptive impact will be experienced throughout the Caribbean and in the Virgin Islands, albeit not necessarily in the short… READ MORE

Economic Development and Development Incentives Discussion Paper: US Virgin Islands

Economic Development and Development Incentives Discussion Paper:  US Virgin Islands Author: Scott P Hensley, Justin Moorhead Published: 15 July 2014

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