If you want to look for the next financial crises, look for the Tallest building!

Here’s an interesting theory, I stumbled upon after my newly found interest for Liaquat Ahamed –  Professional Investment Manager whose claim to fame is “Lords Of Finance: Bankers Who Broke The World”, the book which won the 2010 Pulitzer award for history.

Asked to predict the next financial crises, he gave the audience the simple indicator. Here’s the full video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJr9RcW5kJQ

Known for his simple interpretations of complicated historical instances, the test is simple. Look for the tallest building in the world!

Empire State Building – Great Depression:

Completed in 1931, the inauguration coincided with the world’s worst known economic disaster – the great depression, which although was something gradually developing in the European hemisphere but struck with full force after the bank run on Bank of United States on its New York branches in 1931.

Petronas Towers – Asian Economic Crises:

At the verge of completion in 1997, the timing coincided with the worst of economic crises of the 90’s – the ‘late 90s Asian Economic crises’, which engulfed the entire far-east and brought down Russia to bankruptcy.

Burj Dubai/Khalifa – Dubai debt crises:

Recent past dominates judgment more and it isn’t long ago in 2009, when Shaikh Mohamed of Dubai was unveiling the tallest building in the world Burj Dubai, thanks to the aid of Shaikh Khalifa of Abu Dhabi who bailed out Dubai in the debt crises. The tower was later named Burj Khalifa in appreciation of the big act of the big brother.

So what’s next?

Shanghai Towers:

Plans to complete the three tallest buildings in 2014, have brought Shanghai and in general China to the watch list, not only of Mr Liaquat but also of various other noted economists. For full details, Mr Krugman’s article ‘Will China break’

Mubrak Al Kabir Tower –Kuwait:

2016, here we come!

When I discussed this with a friend of mine, he was supportive of the theory as culmination of skyscrapers indicates signs of the Day of Judgment. Now, I am no Nadeem Faruq Paracha to go against all things Islamic but it’s a general opinion in Oman that the pious Sultan doesn’t allow tall buildings in Oman. Who knows why?


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