David Goldman on Egypt — over the past year, David has not been afraid to forecast meltdown. Excerpt:
It’s not often that a country of 80 million people goes belly up, but that’s what I’ve been predicting in Asia TImes for the past year. Today theNew York Times reports that Egypt’s foreign exchange reserves have fallen to just $10 billion–about a month and a half of imports–from $36 billion before the fall of Hosni Mubarak, “after certain obligations.” The Central Bank claims it has $18 billion, and the Times doesn’t report what those “certain obligations”: are. But the likely conclusion is that the military government has looted the central bank’s reserves and placed them in untraceable accounts and property outside the country.
The economic meltdown of Egypt promises to be a crisis of biblical proportions; the way things are going, frogs and flaming hail wouldn’t surprise me. Somali-style food shortages and chaos might bring to mind the slaughter of the first born.
I hope the Biblical allusions turn out to be overwrought.