Friday, November 27, 2009

An interesting tidbit

Fiat Currency, in this iTulip thread, has pointed out something rather interesting about the stock market turmoil in the wake of Dubai's troubles:
A computer crash at the London Stock Exchange, which by coincidence is 21 per cent owned by the Dubai Government, left dealers unable to trade for three and a half hours.
From the Times of London (UK). Also interesting that their impending default was announced on American Thanksgiving, perhaps in the hope that an across-the-board selloff could be averted. So far, it doesn't seem to be working.

Edited to add: Looks like the timing was indeed deliberate:

Just after 4pm on Wednesday, his Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum wrote on his Facebook page: "I would like to congratulate all UAE citizens and Muslims around the world on the advent of Eid Al Adha."

The flood of replies started instantly: the tech-savvy Ruler of Dubai is a favourite with young Muslims.

But among the well-wishes a few rogue messages started to slip through, tarnishing the illusion that all was well: "Good lucky buddy it looks like you bit more than you can chew. Hopefully Abu Dhabi can bail you out," said one.

Another read: "May the clouds of despair flow away from the country." And another: "I wish you all the power and wisdom to guide your country through this difficult times."

The Sheikh's holiday message had co-incided with the announcement from his government that Dubai World, the key conglomerate behind some of the emirate's most ambitious projects, was seeking to delay the repayment of its debts.

Released after the markets shut, ahead of the 10-day Eid holiday and the Thanksgiving break in America, the notice was designed to have minimum impact. It wasn't the Dubai government's first miscalculation.

From the Telegraph. Still unclear how this will pan out, but it makes the average investor a bit nervous, that's for sure. It probably makes the average Emirates resident downright terrified, for reasons we've already seen.

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