From the Palm Islands to Emirates Bank, grand Dubai, United Arab Emirates, feels the economic crunch


From the Palm Islands to Emirates Bank, grand Dubai, United Arab Emirates, feels the economic crunch

They were heralded as “The 8th Wonder of the World” by numerous travel sites. They required a staggering $60 billion to construct, according to their developers. They attracted A-List celebrities from the Jolie-Pitts to the Beckhams to Lindsay Lohan. They were, in fact, “one of the most enterprising and ambitious ventures to ever have been imagined,” according to travel Web site Destination 360.

“They” are the epic Palm Islands, a series of three man-made islands in the shape of a palm tree, that along with the surrounding city of Dubai, were considered the “it” playground to the stars, a chic status-symbol to the rich, and a mammoth, epic, super-expensive, luxury landmark to the rest of us.

When you”re this high, you”ve got a long way to fall… And fall they have.

Yes, the global recession seems to be official, as the Palm Islands and Dubai have smacked into economic trouble, according to numerous published reports.

“It is clear that tens of thousands have left, real estate prices have crashed and scores of Dubai”s major construction projects have been suspended or cancelled,” the New York Times reports.

And the Palm Islands themselves? Not looking so good. The Mirror reports that the islands” real estate values have plummeted – by about half. Properties that were selling for about $4.5 million are now going for around $2.3 million. Probably not welcome news to celebs like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie who own property there, the paper reports.

But it gets worse. Real estate developer, Nakheel, maker of Dubai”s Palm Islands, has suffered recent layoffs, according to ABC News. The Guardian reports that the third of the Palm Islands, the Palm Deira, which was previously under construction, is on hold, and VIrtualTripping.com reports that it is downsizing in scale.

Read moreFrom the Palm Islands to Emirates Bank, grand Dubai, United Arab Emirates, feels the economic crunch

Peter Schiff: Speech on America’s Bubble Economy (3/13/09)

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Added: March 15, 2009
Source: YouTube

Read morePeter Schiff: Speech on America’s Bubble Economy (3/13/09)

The bankruptcy of the UK is a very real probability, says leading investment bank

The Numis report says: “The bankruptcy of the UK is a very real probability as the UK Government is trying to stimulate a greater debt burden in a grossly indebted economy. We believe the scale of the macro imbalances in the UK means there is no prospect of a recovery in 2009 and we expect the UK to be mired in a deep recession through all of 2010.”


House prices may fall by a further 55 percent and there is a “very real probability” that Britain will be bankrupted, a leading investment bank has warned in a private note to clients.

People who bought buy-to-let flats are expected to “begin panic selling” and the average home value could drop below £100,000.

The predictions in a 298-page report from Numis Securities, a City investment bank, are the bleakest yet on the deteriorating state of the British property market.

House prices have already fallen by about 20 per cent over the past year.

However, in the note written last month, Numis said: “Despite UK house prices already having fallen 21% from the peak, we do not believe that the correction is anywhere near over.

“Our core headline forecast is that UK property prices remain between 17% and 39% overvalued based on fair valuation. Moreover, history has shown us that when property…which has experienced a price bubble corrects, the price tends to fall below fair value for a period of time, as confidence in that market remains low. Prices could fall a further 40-55% if the over-correction was as bad as the early 1990s in our view.”

Read moreThe bankruptcy of the UK is a very real probability, says leading investment bank

Apartment Buyers Abandoning 6-Figure Deposits

“The penthouse, which first went on the market in October 2007 at $9.25 million, has since been appraised at $6.5 million, and its owner has decided to offer the property in a sealed-bid auction-like process in March, with a starting bid of $4.995 million.” “Mr. Orenstein says the owner decided on this process because he plans to move soon to Italy with his wife and baby.”

There are many millionaires and billionaires fleeing from the U.S. right now. No big city on this planet will be a safe place in the future.


THE real estate market in Manhattan has become so unnerving to buyers that some are forfeiting six-figure deposits rather than close on deals they have made.


FORFEITED A buyer for this Spring Street penthouse, with stunning river views, walked away from the deal, and a $780,000 deposit.

At 304 Spring Street, a sleek condominium building in SoHo with stunning Hudson River views, the buyer for the duplex penthouse recently decided he would not go through with the deal and walked away from a $780,000 deposit.

At 1120 Park Avenue, a classic prewar co-op filled with multimillion-dollar apartments, it appears that a buyer forfeited a deposit of as much as $1.1 million.

Real estate agents representing buyers of at least three other multimillion-dollar properties also report clients who knowingly left deposits of more than $1 million or hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table.

In each case, the buyers had signed their contracts before the financial meltdown last fall, but decided in recent months that because values in the luxury real estate market have dropped 20 to 40 percent, it no longer made sense to go through with their deals.

Read moreApartment Buyers Abandoning 6-Figure Deposits

Santander fund seeks to halt redemptions

Spanish bank Santander has sought regulatory permission to freeze payouts from its main real-estate fund after investors sought to withdraw 80 per cent of the vehicle’s capital at once.

The bank, the biggest in the eurozone by market value, said in a regulatory filing on Monday that the Santander Banif Inmobiliario FII fund, the country’s biggest, “currently lacks the necessary liquidity” to meet redemption demands worth €2.62bn ($3.35bn), or 80 per cent of the fund’s value at the end of January.

Santander is seeking authorisation to suspend full reimbursements from the fund for two years, while it “starts an orderly programme of disposals”.

The fund, which was 67 per cent invested in residential rental properties at the end of December, lost about 15 per cent of its value between the end of the third and fourth quarters last year as asset values were adjusted to reflect difficult market conditions.

This, coupled with investors’ need for cash, triggered a run on the fund during a two-week redemption window that closed on Friday.

Spain’s residential property bubble burst almost two years ago, leaving at least 1m new houses unsold.

Read moreSantander fund seeks to halt redemptions

Flood of foreclosures: It’s worse than you think

Banks are moving slowly to list repossessed homes for sale, which could mean that housing inventory is even more bloated than current statistics indicate.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Housing might be in worse shape than we think.

There is probably even more excess housing inventory gumming up the market than current statistics indicate, thanks to a wave of foreclosures that has yet to hit the market.

The problem: Many foreclosed homes and other distressed properties that are now owned by banks have yet to be listed for sale. The volume of this so-called ‘ghost inventory’ could be substantial enough to depress already steeply falling prices when it does go on the market.

“That’s not good news,” said Pat Newport, an analyst with IHS Global Insight. “[Excess] inventory is the biggest problem in housing these days, and it leads to lower housing prices, which leads to more foreclosures.”

Read moreFlood of foreclosures: It’s worse than you think

Paul Craig Roberts: Another real estate crisis is about to hit

Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

“Obama’s economic team consists of the very people who brought on the debt crisis. Now they are going to make it worse.”

Related article: Jim Rogers: Obama administration run by people who caused the latest financial problems (BBC News)

“However, the financial gangsters and their shills that Obama has put in charge of economic policy are thinking only of their own interests. What happens to the American people is not a concern.”

“The unexamined question is: Who is going to finance the next wave of debt?”

“The US budget deficit for fiscal year 2009 already appears to be on a path to $2 trillion, and that is before Obama’s stimulus program. What we are looking at is a $3 trillion budget deficit if Obama’s program is enacted in time to impact the economy this year.”

“…in marked contrast with the approach of the gangsters running US economic policy. The gangsters are using the crisis as an opportunity to steal from taxpayers and to finance their misdeeds and exorbitant salaries with Federal Reserve loans.”

“Their shills among economists and the financial press tell the people that the solution is to fatten up the banks with funds so they will resume lending to an over-indebted public that will then return to the shopping malls.”


By Paul Craig Roberts:

For a picture of the US real estate crisis, imagine New Orleans wrecked by Hurricane Katrina, and before the waters even begin to recede, a second Katrina hits.

The 1,120,000 lost US retail jobs in 2008 are a signal that the second stage of the real estate bust is about to hit the economy. This time it will be commercial real estate — shopping malls, strip malls, warehouses, and office buildings. As businesses close and rents decline, the ability to service the mortgages on the over-built commercial real estate disappears.

The over-building was helped along by the irresponsibly low interest rates, but the main impetus came from the slide of the US saving rate to zero and the rise in household indebtedness. The shrinkage of savings and the increase in debt raised consumer spending to 72 percent of GDP. The proliferation of malls and the warehouses that service them reflect the rise in consumer spending as a share of GDP.

Like the federal government, consumers spent more than they earned and borrowed to cover the difference. Obviously, this could not go on forever, and consumer debt has reached its limit.

Read morePaul Craig Roberts: Another real estate crisis is about to hit

Once Booming Dubai Goes Bust

CBS Evening News: Following Wave Of Speculation, Real Estate Collapses In Middle East’s Capital Of The Ultra-Rich


Downturn In Dubai: The worldwide economic crisis has even struck the once-booming oil city of Dubai. As Sheila MacVicar reports, developers and investors are now facing a financial standstill due to mass overexpansion.


The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, the world’s biggest artificial island. Home prices there are down 40 percent in the last year.
Photo: ThePalmJumeirah.

(CBS) Over the years, booming oil prices helped turn Dubai into a land of opportunity and playground for the ultra rich.

But that was then and this is now. And as CBS News correspondent Sheila MacVicar reports, even Dubai is feeling the pinch of the worldwide economic crisis.

Related articles:
Dubai dream turns sour (The Straits Times)
Owner of Dubai landmarks eyes float (The Telegraph)
Dubai Bonds Signal Economic “Depression,” ING Says (Bloomberg)

The gulf city state’s property prices went up as fast and as high as the towering buildings. But reality has suddenly intruded.

One investor said it was as if someone had thrown a switch, as the global credit crunch slammed a city that was, in effect, the world’s biggest construction site

It took just 20 years for Dubai to go from a desert outpost with a handful of office towers to a world metropolis, where one fifth of the world’s cranes operate, and property became a very hot commodity, with some people playing real estate the way others play poker.

Read moreOnce Booming Dubai Goes Bust

50,000 estate agents face axe in next nine months


Experts have warned that up to 50,000 estate agents may lose their jobs in the next year

As many as 50,000 estate agents could lose their jobs by next Autumn because of the worsening economic crisis, experts today warned.

Economists said the collapse in the housing markets meant the true figure would be double previous predictions of 15,000 job losses, with some experts forecasting at least 50,000 out of work by next year.

The panic has led to some businesses making desperate attempts to secure their survival, with one estate agent even converting part of his office into a cafe to generate extra income.

Ben Read, managing economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said the toll of job losses would be shocking.

He told the Evening Standard: ‘It will definitely be worse. The housing market has dropped significantly more since May and the outlook for the next nine months is pretty ropey.

‘Because of the worsening situation in the economy you could easily expect that figure of 15,000 to go up by 50 per cent. The true figure could even be as much as 50,000.

‘Most estate agents have let go significant numbers of staff and are working on skeleton staff. I’m sure it will surprise everyone how bad it is.’

Read more50,000 estate agents face axe in next nine months