A Universe Apart
The Great Eastern Hotel near
I escaped into the Great Eastern this week for a few hours at a gathering of Egyptian ministers and business people to discuss the outlook for the region’s most populated country. The talk inside the meeting room was about robust growth of 7 percent, foreign direct investment hitting a record $11 billion dollars and re-positioning
On the way over to the meeting, I read my morning paper with headlines reacting to the Federal Reserve’s orchestrated bailout of Bear Sterns and yet another drastic cut in
Inside the foyer I took time for a few interviews to sound out my views that we are not living in one global economy right now. “It really does seem like two parallel universes,” said Marwan Elaraby of Citadel Capital the Egyptian investment bank.
“You drive around
The dollar continues to tumble; oil continues to surge; prices everywhere for staples are skyrocketing. Despite the rosier economic outlook, protestors in
Finance is Confidence
Middle Eastern players are not ignoring the red-lights of concern flashing on Wall Street, quite to the contrary. They are hoping to minimize the impact. As co-founder of Beltone Financial, Aly El-Tahry noted: “Finance is confidence. As long as you don’t have a catalyst or something that diverts the present expectation from this negative mood, we’ll continue to have uncertainty.”
“I'm much more concerned about the policy formulations in the future because the kind of extreme pragmatism that we're witnessing today could be justified in the short term by uncertainty, by requirements of having to make and to do some quick actions to fix problems,” said Mohieldin. The Worldcom fiasco led to Sarbanes-Oxley. This severe credit crunch he worries may lead a new White House occupant to move into action to limit trade or the flow of financial investments.
Let’s hope not. We however have heard very little from the three remaining presidential candidates on what they would do about the
Meanwhile, back in the foyer of the Great Eastern, the talk remains on creating new opportunities.
With this economic boom underway in the region, the players are looking to
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ABOUT THIS BLOGJohn Defterios’ blog accompanies the weekly business program, Marketplace Middle East (MME) that is dedicated to the latest financial news from the Middle East. As MME anchor, John Defterios talks to the people in the know, finding out their opinions on the big business moves in the region, he provides his views via this weekly blog. We hope you will join the discussion around the issues raised.
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