It seems that the old saying about building on sand is holding true. Dubai has asked to put off their debt payments to creditors until May. Dubai owes some $60 Billion to its creditors.
Of course, Dubai has become the playground for the rich and famous… and some infamous as well. Taking advantage of the rising prices for barrels of oil in the region, Dubai decided to create a world that was built of sand and on sand.
Most of us remember seeing the images of construction as it took place. Sand was pumped in to create the Isle of Palms, a residential tree, and the creation of the world that took far longer than seven days. The images were those of a fairy tale for many of us.
Perhaps, Dubai is a fairy tale. The report that Dubai wants to put of making payments for six months made some believe that a default on payments may be in the making. Stock markets around the world began to tumble setting up a possible setback for the global economy. The kingdom of sand castles may be about to crumble.
Dubai is another example that the rich and powerful had no more foresight than the rest of us. While many of us watched in awe as Dubai created the world anew, while the likes of Bernie Madoff lived in opulence with arrogance, and while the well-established Lehman Brothers touted its longevity many of us who live in the little cottages on Elm Street wondered how such wealth could be accumulated. Once again we found ourselves in the “us and them” world.
Ah, but that is the rub. When Lehman-Brothers vanished from the face of the earth in a matter of days it started the domino effect that has now circled the globe. The “us” was called upon to save “them.” When Bernie (not Hund) and wife Ruth, along with their friends and investors were living above the rest of “us” we looked at “them” from the outside with a touch of envy. Now, Bernie is residing in North Carolina in a jail cell smaller than one of his former closets. He is probably looking out with a touch of envy. We saw no remorse. Ruth is without friends or country club memberships. Their friends and investors are crying foul.
On the other side of this earth Dubai created the world of sand so the rich could look from their hotel rooms and say, “This is good.” If there was insight into the creation of Dubai and the overreaching extent to which it has been built it may have been foretold in the creation of the Hotel Atlantis. Just as Atlantis… the first one… vanished, Dubai may fade into default.
Unfortunately, Dubai may be one of those “too big to fail” things. We all know that there is nothing that is “too big to fail.” A more correct statement could be “too big to fail without making all of us pay.”
Certainly Dubai is on the other side of the world. But we live in a global economy and should Atlantis vanish into the depths we will all pay the price.