It's a bit more complicated than that. The New York Times put the story in the top spot of its web site. And Noam Scheiber explains the deeper consequences in The Stash right here at TNR. Apparently, according to Noam, there's some good in this for us. I do not apologize for my chauvinism. The U.S. has taken enough hits in the worldwide economic decline, and the Arabs have been riding high. Mostly as a result of rising oil prices. I hope their banks and bloated-wealth families have a great deal of exposure to Dubai debt.
It was not so long ago that the Times seemed to do a "gee whiz" article about Dubai almost every week. Then the slicks also developed this habit, and tourists responded to the hype. They could stay in the world's second highest and most single expensive in the world. As the international economy went in to a tail spin, the residential real estate business just about stopped. And the cranes next to the unfinished stood still. Dubai is virtually shut down. I don't know how many of the foreign workers without any rights whatever are still in the country.
As I told you at the beginning of this Spine, I am gloating. And I am gloating because I foretold this debacle a long time ago...and ever since. Here are my Spines in this space.
"Fantastic Dubai," August 7, 2008
"'No Harm Can Come to Us' Sheikdoms are in Bad Shape," October 7, 2008
"You Don't Say..." October 13, 2008
"Bad News Always Has Some Good News In It," October 27, 2008
"Is This News Good or Bad?" December 16, 2008