As I write, the American stock indices are down almost 2.5%, Asian markets closed down double that percentage and Russia...well, who trusts the Russian bourse anyway? The only really good news is that crude is down another $4.
But this is not the reason why, as AP reports today, "Stock Markets Across the Arab World Recorded Steep Losses Tuesday." Or, at least, it is not the only reason or the proximate reason. The benchmark index of the Cairo and Alexandria exchange dropped nearly 16%.. Maybe this was pent-up anxiety to join the rest of the world after weeks of marking fest days and fast days when markets are closed. In any case, this continues a trend from before Ramadan when securities were also skidding downwards. In fact, the Egyptian exchange is down 44% since Jamuary. Poor Egypt. Nothing works there.
Saudi exchange is down 17% after two days of successive decline. The Dubai exchange is down 5% and the Kuwait exchange went south more than 6%. There's a lawsuit in the Kuwaiti courts to close the exchange. Why? Rich men can't seem to stand the sight of their wealth going down. This is even worse than forbidding shorts.
What's interesting is that the "no harm can come to us" sheikhdoms are in as bad shape as other Arab markets. The emirate markets are built on hot air, that is, the endless prosperity of the advanced countries. But the unravelling of their economies has already brought troubles to the emirates. I know that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were in one of those promotionals for some $25,000 a night hotel on the beach. But very few will continue to pay these prices not to be able to go into the ocean. You see, it's too hot.
The Tel Aviv index was up 4.5%. No wonder that Hamas, according to Ha'aretz, attributed blame for the economic crisis on the Jewish lobby in America. Yes, it was me and Alan Dershowitz and AIPAC. Just ask Walt and Mearsheimer.