Newsreading

Some good articles that are worth a read

On the Corporate Greed and (Corporate nexus with bankers and politicians) haircuts taken by  banks (who takes actual vital decisions in PSU banks) and why small investors suffer …

Shobhana S : Time to discourage reckless borrowing

Why aren’t promoters in India afraid to borrow? The answer is simple. The chances of them losing their companies is very, very, slim, almost nil. Time and again, companies have been in trouble but the banks have always been there to bail them out.

Take the case of real estate companies, most of which have managed to postpone the bulk of their repayments to 2010-11 or perhaps beyond that.

What lies behind the Dubai Dream? Chk out this detailed article on the real Dubai hidden behind the Disneyland facade of big buildings, souks and 4 lane expressways.

The dark side of Dubai

“The thing you have to understand about Dubai is – nothing is what it seems,” Karen says at last. “Nothing. This isn’t a city, it’s a con-job. They lure you in telling you it’s one thing – a modern kind of place – but beneath the surface it’s a medieval dictatorship.”

There are three different Dubais, all swirling around each other. There are the expats, like Karen; there are the Emiratis, headed by Sheikh Mohammed; and then there is the foreign underclass who built the city, and are trapped here. They are hidden in plain view. You see them everywhere, in dirt-caked blue uniforms, being shouted at by their superiors, like a chain gang – but you are trained not to look. It is like a mantra: the Sheikh built the city. The Sheikh built the city. Workers? What workers?

I meet the Dubai dictatorship’s Public Enemy Number One. By way of introduction, Mohammed al-Mansoori says from within his white robes and sinewy face: “Westerners come her and see the malls and the tall buildings and they think that means we are free. But these businesses, these buildings – who are they for? This is a dictatorship. The royal family think they own the country, and the people are their servants. There is no freedom here.”

I ask the Filipino girl behind the counter if she likes it here. “It’s OK,” she says cautiously. Really? I say. I can’t stand it. She sighs with relief and says: “This is the most terrible place! I hate it! I was here for months before I realised – everything in Dubai is fake. Everything you see. The trees are fake, the workers’ contracts are fake, the islands are fake, the smiles are fake – even the water is fake!” But she is trapped, she says. She got into debt to come here, and she is stuck for three years: an old story now. “I think Dubai is like an oasis. It is an illusion, not real. You think you have seen water in the distance, but you get close and you only get a mouthful of sand.”

lastly

Naked Greed

MONEY can’t buy you love but professional mistress Aaliyah Johnson reckons she’s the next best thing- as long as you’ve got millions in the bank.

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