An official statement from a Mayan religious body has said that they are sorry but they lost 200 years in their calculations. So the end of the world won’t happen in 2012 as we all hoped. It will take another couple of hundred years. And just as all the omens were looking good. Pollution, global warming, epidemics, genocide, famine, insane wars and all the other stuff.
So what can we do about it. We in this country obviously require some disaster to be afraid of or our lives are not complete. A replacement must be found.
Fortunately a man named Victor Niederhoffer has found just the ticket for us. His second book is entitled Practical Speculation and he goes into ‘easy to notice signs’ that various things are going to happen so that the speculator is not just depending on hunches.
He points out that mankind has a tendency to build high before a fall. And he has a point, financially speaking. Remember the old proverb, Pride goes before a Fall.
Just before the Great Depression the two greatest skyscrapers of their time were opened: the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building.
I thought that the fact that I arrived in the United States may have had something to do with the more than 70% loss of purchasing power of the stock market in the 70’s. The year I experienced my first corporate organized lay-off, together with about 200 other people, the Dow had its two year low, down 45% in 1973. However, it now seems that I was not the cause.
The Sears Tower, which I watched being built from my office on Jackson, was completed in 1973.
The world competition to have the tallest building then passed on to Malaysia. The Sears Tower became second in the world to the Petronas Towers in 1997. That was the year that the Malaysian stock market declined by 50%.
Not to be outdone, Dubai produced the world’s tallest building in 2008, and Bingo! its stock market crashed. The place is pretty close to bankruptcy because of fluctuations in the price of oil.
Now the superstition seems to work for biggest as well as tallest. In December 1999 the Nasdaq’s Market Site tower had the biggest video display in the world. Three months later the Nasdaq composite fell 70%.
Enron was about halfway through constructing a monster office building with an 8 storey trading area when Enron went bankrupt in 2002.
The Mayan thing was a prophecy whose date has been put forward two centuries. Are there any more disasters coming down the pike that we could look out for?
As it happens, there are. We haven’t finished with Dubai. The official completion day of the Burj Dubai is next year, 2010. More problems may be on the way for Dubai if this skyscraper thing has any merit.
Shanghai is busy building what is expected to be the world’s second tallest building, unless Dubai’s effort collapses. The Shanghai Tower is supposed to be completed in 2014. Watch Shanghai.
South Korea, not to be outdone by the West is currently building its own twin towers, the Incheon Towers, planned to be the tallest twin skyscapers in the world. Due to finish in 2015.
But for biggest we’ll have to hand it to the Saudis. They are building an enormous complex called the Abraj Al-Bait Towers in the holy city of Mecca. It will be the tallest building in Saudi Arabia and the largest building in the world. It will include a room for prayer with a capacity of 10,000 people in the prayer position and will also contain a seven star hotel. That is due for completion in 2010.
If the ‘biggest comes before a fall’ rule works we shall see some very interesting things going on all over the world in the next five years. In case you need another superstition to replace the one being displaced I suggest you consider this one. No charge. A unique Christmas gift for you all, courtesy of Tom Dyson of Daily Wealth from whom I gleaned most of the data about The Skyscraper Curse. Maybe there was more in the Tower of Babel story than meets the eye.