LANDON THOMAS Jr. writes in the New York Times:
Of the many economies that gorged on debt in the boom years, Dubai stood out. In the space of a few years the emirate’s investment arm, Dubai World, racked up $59 billion in debt, borrowing to build lavish developments like a giant island shaped like a palm tree to entice celebrities like Brad Pitt, and to invest in glittery properties like the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas.
Now that the boom has gone bust, both in Dubai and in the United States, Dubai is stuck with a glut of real estate that no one wants to buy or rent. Creditors and markets had always assumed that when push came to shove, its oil-rich neighbor Abu Dhabi would bail out Dubai. But that assumption was called into question this week, and the resulting fear that Dubai might not be able to pay its bills sent a wave of uncertainty rippling through markets just as investors thought the worst of the global financial instability was over.
The anxiety reached Wall Street on Friday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average down more than 150 points, as investors worried about hidden debt bombs in other countries and institutions — heavily indebted nations like Greece and even Britain, high-flying emerging markets and even European and American banks that had lent Dubai money.
Image: Dubai montage via Wikimedia Commons
Read More: New York Times