As my most devoted readers will note, I have a certain "soft spot" for the country known as the "United Arab Emirates", which is why I don't buy any products whose bar code number starts with 629. This point of view was encouraged when I saw this scrawled on my family's residence in the UAE:
Many investors who did buy the islands proved unwilling or unable to finance further work when Dubai's property prices halved in the space of a year. Some were hit by troubles elsewhere – the owner of the company which bought [the island shaped like] Ireland for £24 million, John O'Dolan, committed suicide, while the man who bought [the island shaped like] Britain for £43 million, Safi Qurashi, is serving seven years in jail in Dubai after being accused of bouncing cheques.
Which makes this as good a time as any to remind my loyal readers that being in debt in the UAE is a crime punishable by imprisonment, which doesn't make any sense. How are you supposed to earn the money you owe, if you're in prison? But anyway, back to the Amazing Eroding Islands:
The dispute being heard by the property tribunal involves Penguin Marine, the company which bought the rights to provide boat travel to the islands. With little business, it is trying to exit the contract, which involves paying an annual fee of just under £1 million to Nakheel. Nahkeel say they will cash an advanced payment guarantee worth just over £1 million if that happens. Penguin claim that work on the islands has "effectively stopped". Mr Wilmot-Smith described the project as "dead". Graham Lovett, for Nakheel, said the project was not dead but admitted it was "in a coma". ... The tribunal found for Nakheel on Thursday, saying it would give full reasoning later. A spokesman for Nakheel insisted the islands were not sinking. "Our periodical monitoring survey over the past three years didn't observe any substantial erosion that requires sand nourishment," a statement said.
I think it's a pretty funny demonstration of the property value literally "eroding away". It seems like a total economic collapse is right around the corner. All we have to do is sit back and wait for that terrible, terrible country to fall apart. But for those of us who don't feel like waiting, perhaps you can help me with my plan.
I know you can invest in a company by buying shares of its stock, or you can invest against a company by "short-selling" its shares (selling shares you don't own yet, and promising to buy some in the future to make up for it; it's pretty existential). This hurts the company by lowering the value of its shares. You can also invest in a country, by buying its currency. But I don't know of a way to "short" a country's currency. Anyone have any ideas? If we can pull together and short-sell the currency of the UAE, we can accelerate their collapse, make a nice profit, and help end this awful regime. It should be noted that the UAE's currency is pegged to the US dollar, meaning that until the country goes bankrupt, your investment is risk-free! But the minute the UAE treasury runs out of money with which to buy their currency back (with dollars), we can buy out of our short positions with a large profit.