Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Don't miss Lauren Greenfield photo series documenting the "Dubai miracle" for the New York Times. This is no sinless Las Vegas. Not if we redefine "sin" as capitalist excess and waste. See the contrast between opulence and poverty, the vain failure of spectacle gone awry: Abandoned mansions, withered gardens, empty pools, unpaid foreign workers, unfinished buildings (the world's largest skyscraper, in the photo above, really stands amidst an empty, dusty, huge undeveloped lot). Conspicuous projects that didn't sell being demolished for new ones (who will buy them?). Rushed developments and poor infrastructure and planning, all for the sake of the appearance of power. Dubai Real Estate has fallen by 40%. How do you restructure $26 billion in debt? Buried in the sand. For now, buy time and ease the panic.
Dubai? The Miami of the desert.