Is Slovakia the economic oasis in a turbulent world.

For now Bratislava is calm and prosperous, people still shop, banks still lend reasonably, and people rub along pretty well considering the mayhem in the world.

Clearly the economy has decelerated and is now going to grow more than 5% faster than Germany in 2009. Forecasts are perilous at the moment, but the consensus seems to be pointing to somehere between 2.7 to 4% GDP growth in 2009.

It looks like 2009 is going to be a bleak year but we seem to be doing ok for now and for the foreseeable future. national debt in slovakia is a low 30% of GDP and with the euro as our currency slovakia is not a victim to currency speculators like the neighbouring countries are.

We are living in historically turbulent times but the conservative values in the old sense that permeate slovak financial planning are paying big dividents in these rocky times. Unlike places like Dubai that seem to underline the deadend of unsustainable anglosaxon models of capitalism.

Dubai: No Longer an Oasis in an Economic Desert

As Robert F. Worth reports in Tuesday’s New York Times, Dubai, the port city in the United Arab Emirates that was once considered the future of economic power in the Middle East, has been in the grip of a downward economic spiral.

And more and more foreigners, who make up 90 percent of the city’s population, have been on receiving end of the inevitable layoffs. Without jobs, these ex-workers have only one place to go: elsewhere. Mr. Worth writes that “jobless people here lose their work visas and then must leave the country within a month.”

Some are simply abandoning the city:

With Dubai’s economy in free fall, newspapers have reported that more than 3,000 cars sit abandoned in the parking lot at the Dubai Airport, left by fleeing, debt-ridden foreigners (who could in fact be imprisoned if they failed to pay their bills). Some are said to have maxed-out credit cards inside and notes of apology taped to the windshield.

For now, it seems clear, European and American expats should look elsewhere for economic opportunity.

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