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February 23, 2009

Jobs in Dubai Desert Dries Up And Foreign Workers Flee!

palm-island-dubai 

If it can happen in Dubai, it can happen anywhere.  It’s a confirmation that international finances are horrendous when Dubai’s economy dries up!  

Dubai is one of the seven emirates and the most populous city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is located along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula.

Ian, a foreign worker, is a 38-year-old Englishman who moved to Dubai 2 years ago to take a job as an engineer. He lived in Dubai and became very confident that Dubai’s fast-growing economy would continue for at least a decade so he purchased a condominium for almost $300,000 with a 15-year mortgage.

90 percent of the Dubai population is made up of foreign workers.  Management teams were recruited with big salaries and with promises of an extraordinary financial future and guaranteed jobs.  Ian was laid off 2 weeks ago and is desperately searching for a job since he doesn’t know what else to do because he owns property there. If he can’t pay off his mortgage he could end up in debtors’ prison.

With Dubai’s economy in free fall, newspapers have reported that more than 3,000 cars sit abandoned in the parking lot at the Dubai Airport, left by fleeing, debt-ridden foreigners (who could in fact be imprisoned if they failed to pay their bills). Some are said to have left maxed-out credit cards inside the cars with notes of apology taped to the windshield.

The main problem is that the jobless in Dubai lose their work visas and then must leave the country within a month. That in turn reduces spending, creates housing vacancies and lowers real estate prices – a downward spiral that has left parts of Dubai once hailed as the economic superpower of the Middle East looking like a ghost town. Tens of thousands have left, real estate prices have crashed and scores of Dubai’s major construction projects have been suspended or canceled.

Last month local newspapers reported that Dubai was canceling 1,500 work visas every day. Real estate prices, which rose dramatically during Dubai’s six-year boom, have dropped 30 percent or more over the past two or three months in some parts of the city. Many used luxury cars are for sale, sometimes being sold for 40 percent less than the asking price two months ago according to car dealers. Dubai’s roads, usually congested with traffic this time of year are now mostly traffic free.

Dubai at first seemed to be a refuge, relatively insulated from the panic that began hitting the rest of the world last fall. The Gulf is cushioned by vast oil and gas wealth so some who lost jobs in New York and London began applying and accepting jobs there.

But Dubai, unlike Abu Dhabi or nearby Qatar and Saudi Arabia does not have its own oil.  Dubai built its reputation on real estate, finance and tourism. Now many expatriates are talking about Dubai as though it has been a con game all along. Sensational rumors have been spreading that Palm Jumeira (Palm Island) – the artificial island that is one of this city’s trademark developments is sinking.

Ian says he doesn’t know what to believe anymore and he is becoming a little panicked as he continues looking for a job, hoping that he finds one before his 30 days runs out.

It was reported earlier today by the Dubai Department of Finance that The Central Bank has pledge the first US$10 billion of what will eventually be a US$20 billion bond program to help Dubai meet its financial obligations so that the government can continue with its development plans. This will provide the Dubai Government with the necessary liquidity to substitute the funds that have dried up globally in the last 12 months and help them to meet all their upcoming financial obligations.

Dubai’s government and government-owned corporations have an estimated US $80 billion in combined bonds and other outstanding loans to help finance the breakneck growth and economic diversification that have made it a developmental model for the Middle East.

 

 

October 10, 2008

Palin Stumped AGAIN On Her Strong Suit – Energy

 If Gov. Sarah Palin, by John McCain’s estimation, “knows more about energy than probably anyone in the United States of America,” then why is she getting such basic facts about our nation’s energy production wrong?

At a town-hall event in Wisconsin on Thursday, Palin was asked by a concerned questioner whether it was true that the United States was shipping 75 percent of its Alaskan oil overseas. She responded by proclaiming it impossible, since Congress had put strict bans on the amount of oil and gas that America could export.

Not so. As the Associated Press reported:

No Alaska oil has been exported since 2004, and little if any since 2000, according to the Energy Information Administration and the Congressional Research Service.

And Congress has never imposed outright bans on oil exports. Congress prohibited exports of Alaska oil in 1973 when the Alaska oil pipeline was built. But that ban was lifted in 1996 when there were large volumes of Alaska oil coming down from the North Slope and U.S. demand was soft.

The Alaska ban has never been reinstated.

Unfortunately, for Palin, this was not merely an inconsequential misstatement but rather another in a series of errors when it comes to discussing what is supposed to be her policy strength. For a while on the trail, the Alaska Governor was fond of declaring that her job – as head of state – “has been to oversee nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of oil and gas.”

That too was incorrect. As the Washington Post’s Fact Checker noted:

Alaska is the ninth largest energy supplier in the United States, accounting for a modest 3.5 percent share of the nation’s total energy production…

… After the non-partisan Factcheck.org pointed out Palin’s error in her interview with Gibson, the Alaska governor revised her claim somewhat, limiting it to oil and gas. But data compiled by the Energy Information Administration contradict her claim that she oversees “nearly 20 percent” of oil and gas production in the country. According to authoritative EIA data, Alaska accounted for just 7.4 percent of total U.S. oil and gas production in 2005.

One thing Palin did get right was her assertion that the U.S. does not ship three-quarters of its Alaska-drilled oil to other countries. The amount, in actuality, is quite minimal (523 million barrels of petroleum product), especially compared with the amount that the country imports (roughly 4 billion barrels).

Original post at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/09/palin-stumped-again-on-he_n_133449.html

 

 

Obama/Biden 2008!

August 13, 2008

Russia to America: “Pick Sides”. Georgia to McCain: “Action Not A Bunch Of Words “.

 Relations between Russia and the U.S. have become exceptionally tense. Russia has thrown out a challenge to the United States, daring President George W Bush to “choose” between Washington’s relationship with Georgia and its future ties with Moscow.
 
In what appeared to be calculated defiance of the United States and the European Union, which mediated a ceasefire deal struck less than 24 hours earlier, early Wednesday, Moscow sent its forces to occupy the Georgian town of Gori, just 50 miles from the capital Tbilisi.

President George W Bush said the move had “damaged relations” between America and Russia and demanded that Moscow “keep its word” over the ceasefire. 

“To begin to repair the damage to its relations with the United States, Europe and other nations, and to begin restoring its place in the world, Russia must keep its word and act to end this crisis,” Bush said.

But Russia retorted that America, which has a staunch ally of Tbilisi’s pro-western government, would have “to choose” between building a relationship with Georgia or Russia.

“We understand that this current Georgian leadership is a special project of the United States, but one day the United States will have to choose,” said the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili earlier Wednesday called for John McCain and other American leaders to do more for Georgia in their response to the conflict in his country.

“Yesterday, I heard Sen. McCain say, ‘We are all Georgians now,’ ” Saakashvili said on CNN’s American Morning. “Well, very nice, you know, very cheering for us to hear that, but OK, it’s time to pass from this – from words to deeds.”

 

(more…)

August 11, 2008

Russia/George War: Is Russia Trying To Rebuild The Soviet Union?

 Map of Russia as it exists today.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said Russian forces had effectively cut his country in half. Russia captured the central city of Gori and its armored vehicles rolled deep into western Georgia on Monday, seizing a military base and several towns and opening a second front of fighting. The State Department said it has evacuated more than 170 U.S. citizens. Poland and other former Soviet satellites have expressed deep anxiety that the escalation of fighting signals Russia’s willingness to use force to dominate the newly democratic region.

  Map of the Soviet Union when it controlled the entire Eurasia region.

From 1945 until dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 – a period known as the Cold War – the Soviet Union and the United States of America were the two world superpowers that dominated the global agenda of economic policy, foreign affairs, military operations, cultural exchange, scientific advancements including the pioneering of space exploration, and sports – including the Olympic Games and various world championships.

Initially established as a union of four Soviet Socialist Republics, the USSR grew to contain 15 constituent or “union republics” by 1956: Armenian SSR, Azerbaijan SSR, Byelorussian SSR, Estonian SSR, Georgian SSR, Kazakh SSR, Kirghiz SSR, Latvian SSR, Lithuanian SSR, Moldavian SSR, Russian SFSR, Tajik SSR, Turkmen SSR, Ukrainian SSR, and Uzbek SSR.

It seems that Russia is ready to reclaim what they believe to be theirs.  This could escalate into something very scary especially since Russia is now claiming that America is helping Georgia.

Russia is not Iraq – they will fight America if they think it’s necessary.  Scary!

Also see: https://letustalk.wordpress.com/2008/08/10/russiageorgia-war-how-america-has-lost-its-world-influence/

 

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