As global capitalism staggers back towards the abyss, there is a rich seam of irony in the fact that Dubai is the source of the latest barrowload of bad debt.
Dubai is a statelet with a very old-fashioned view of debt. Dickensian even. Bouncing cheques is a criminal matter there, and anecdotes are legion about newly-unemployed expats who scarper to the airport, and leave their cars with the keys in the ignition, to avoid ending up behind bars as their over-leveraged lifestyles unravel.
Meanwhile, on Nakheel\’s website, you wouldn\’t be able to see anything was wrong. Headlines focus on golf tournaments not debt defaults. The sangfroid of Drake playing bowls as the Spanish Armada approached, or the lunacy of Nero fiddling as Rome collapsed in flames?