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For Europe, Breaking Up Is a Hard Thing to Do

Everyone is looking with horror at Europe, waiting for the European Economic and Monetary Union to break up and for the PIIGS to start dropping like flies, taking the rest of the euro zone and the global economy with them. Unlikely! European monetary union was a great experiment that made a lot of sense on […]

$1.3 Billion Burj Khalifa 2.0 is Brilliant!

Earlier this week we saw reports that “Beijing authorities plan to build a “seven-star hotel” modelled after Dubai’s Burj Khalifa — the world’s tallest building — in a $1.3 billion joint project with Saudi Arabia.” Yes, the same building that symbolized Dubai’s $20-plus billion in malinvestments and required a bailout by Abu Dhabi. In Russian […]

Dubai’s Shot to the Moon

Virtually unlimited access to cheap money blurs lines between what makes economic sense and what doesn’t. If it can be financed it will be built. Dubai’s plan to diversify away from petrochemicals made sense. Maybe it is even destined to become the Las Vegas of the Middle East, the Mecca of business travel and luxury. […]

South Africa’s Heartbreak And Hope

When I was invited to give a presentation in March about my book to South African CFA Society members in Cape Town and Johannesburg, to say that my expectations for South Africa were low is a tremendous understatement.   Click here to see pictures from this trip (opens PDF). Preparations included a visit to my doctor […]

Signs of Global Growth Slowdown?

This weekend’s papers provided new signs of global economic slowdown. The first came from Japan. For the first time in 26 years – a long time – Japan became a net importer (imports exceeded exports). FT article sums it up: The contraction was led by plunging sales of Japanese cars and trucks in a weak […]