World

The WSJ has an interesting page one article on the experience of doing business in Dubai; although two notable westerners were recruited to help set up the Dubai International Financial Center.

In the latest phase of its development, Dubai sought to lure global financial firms to its soil. And if they wanted international legal and regulatory standards, Dubai was determined it would provide them — at least inside one section of downtown. After some wrangling with the U.A.E.’s central authorities, Dubai won permission to exempt its financial center from nearly all of the federation’s commercial laws.

The U.A.E.’s central bank, under international pressure to improve its oversight, set some limits. It retained jurisdiction over investigations of possible terrorism financing and money laundering. But it let Dubai set up an entirely separate, Western-based commercial system for its financial district that would do business in dollars, and in English.

This included independent regulators and judges imported from the West. Dubai scored its first coup in 2002 when it lured Ian Hay Davison, a former chief executive of Lloyds of London, and Phillip Thorpe, a former senior British financial regulator, to set up and oversee the regulatory side of the proposed financial center.

Of course, an incident now deemed a “cultural misunderstanding” led to the firing of the two executives… which leads me to question their commitment to western-style regulations and oversight, including that of terrorists.

It’s also worth reading a view on the Dubai ports deal from an entirely different perspective: an editorial from the Dubai-based Gulf News. Unfortunately, for any American politician, either position is assailable.

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Domestically, Michelle Malkin has the entire transcript (and link to audio recorded by a student) of the unhinged teacher caught on tape in Denver.

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