Buh-Bye Dubai

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On this Thanksgiving morning, I was surprised to see the /ES plunging. What on earth could be happening? Are there reports of contaminated Stove Top stuffing? Then I read the news about Dubai defaulting. I guess green shoots don't grow so well in the desert. It saves me some writing on this holiday, though, because I can just cut and paste what I wrote in February, as it still applies…………

During the dark times of 2006-2007, one of the most hackneyed expressions to get tossed around, ostensibly from investment banking twerps, was: "These days, it's Shanghai, Mumbai, Dubai, or Good-Bye."

So in that smirky little phrase, they unwittingly laid out three Capitals of Despair that would get wiped out when the music stopped playing.

I was just reading this interesting article in the Times about Dubai's plunge – – what caught my eye was that people were afraid of being thrown into debtor's prison. Debtor's prison! I thought those went out of style with the chastity belt. But, in the land of the Religion of Peace, they still have such a thing. Incredible.

Why anyone would ever elect to live somewhere hot is beyond me. I think those who choose to be in, say, Phoenix or Las Vegas are simply nuts different than your humble narrator. Of course, I prefer mild weather, and plenty of fog and rain, so perhaps this is just a quirk of mine. But to choose to live in a place where it is regularly over 100 degrees seems odd to me, since it would necessitate hiding indoors all the time.

As for Dubai, in retrospect, it was all-too-obvious they were headed for a fall. Besides the aforementioned ditty, one would often hear the tired carping about how a huge percentage of all the world's cranes were in Dubai, which I frankly never cared a whit about. Who cares? I imagine Dubai will be the new Houston – – overbuilt and full of see-through buildings.

Pride goeth before the fall. It happens every time. So the (clearly Freudian) need to build the World's Tallest, Thickest, Widest, Most Turgid building is behind us. It will thrust itself into the sky, manly yet somehow unsatisfying. Perhaps those residents remaining can survive the empty desert landscape from the top tower and drink in the view for a few years.