City Life, Dili

Sleepy Dili, capital of East Timor, doesn’t have much going for it. Its tallest building is just three storeys. The most obvious economic activity is the purveying of SIM cards and pirate CDs of ‘jiggy-jig’. The harbour is full of ships, but only because some dopey official misordered an import … read more >>

Crony v reformer; fight becomes feisty in Jakarta

IT IS Asia’s feud of the year, and one that could define whether Indonesia makes it to international investment grade, or will spend some more time in the economic basket-case category. In one corner is Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati; eloquent, stylish, almost an anti-politician; a cleanskin with a self-professed … read more >>

Dubai’s debt crisis – a ‘new paradigm’ built on sand

DUBAI – At Dubai’s soaring, spurious peak, one factoid the emirate’s bling-burdened battalion of ‘corporate communications consultants’ liked to slip to junketing media was that Dubai had the world’s densest concentration of cranes. Impossible to verify but too good to ignore, the glib observation almost always made it into media … read more >>

The Dubai ‘miracle’ was always a mirage of spin

NOW that the external impact of Dubai’s sovereign debt crisis seems to have passed, for now at least, what’s the big lesson from this drama-in-the-dunes? I think it boils down quite simply: don’t believe the hype. Dubai claimed to have the ”biggest this”, ”largest that” and the ”most of just … read more >>