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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/18338/skyscraper-curse-to-hit-europe/

Skyscraper Curse to hit Europe

September 5, 2011 by

It is not a big stretch of the imagination that Europe is facing an economic crisis. Even optimists admit that there is some potential for a crisis to develop. However, my skyscraper model has issued a crisis signal. The signal comes in the form of the Shard, now the tallest building in Europe.

The skyscraper model holds that when there is a new record setting skyscraper it is a sign of a looming economic crisis. The model has successfully identified the Panic of 1907, the Great Depression, the Stagflation of the 1970s, the Tech Bubble, and the Housing Bubble. The only false positive occurred in 1913 when an economic crisis was staved off by the outbreak of war in Europe.

The model also works for state and regional records. A new record-setting skyscraper for a country is a sign of a national crisis. A regional or continental record is a sign of a regional or continental economic crisis. The Shard is being built in London and at a height of more than 1000 feet marks a new record skyscraper for Europe. Measuring new records is difficult to do because there are alternative measures (floors, feet, total height, etc), but it appears the Shard set the record in July or early August.


Mark Thornton September 5, 2011 at 5:13 pm
Baten September 5, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Man you are right! I am from Romania, and I can tell you that one of the last things Ceausescu did before his fall was the House of the People – at the time it was the second lagest building in the world, second to the Pentagon.

Bryan September 6, 2011 at 12:06 am

Mark, how could war prevent an economic crisis? WWI itself was an economic disaster of destruction.

Mark Thornton September 6, 2011 at 10:33 am

War in Europe was good for American business because they needed to import food and other materials that could not be produced while at war.

V September 6, 2011 at 2:35 am

The Italian 10 year treasury market says it all. Notwithstanding billions of € to bring the yield back under 5%, temporarily successful, now it’s clocking 5.6% PIGS then, PIIGS now.

Sapienza September 6, 2011 at 11:05 pm


Just looking at the 2040 Italian long-bond from July on shows there’s fire in the EU engine-room.

clau2002 September 6, 2011 at 6:18 am

I wonder when will you people understand that the UK is not part of Europe?It is pegged to the USA.Both have 70% of their economies made up of speculative gambling (Wall Street&City of London).The EU financial center is in Frankfurt not in London.No matter how fast they print their worthless pieces of paper,both Wall Street and the City are going down since the rest of the world is not willing anymore to accept their papers in exchange for real goods!!!

J. Murray September 6, 2011 at 1:11 pm

It depends on what you mean. For instance, there is no such thing as the European continent since the continental plate is Europe and most of what we call Asia (including Iran, but excluding India, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia). The UK is a Eurasian nation because it resides on this tectonic plate. Iceland, which is being considered for European Union membership, is 50% North America.

Other fun bits of information is that a good chunk of Eastern Russia is North American and Tokyo is technically a North American city, at least partially.

On the other hand, the UK is not part of the European Union, but neither is Switzerland, which is smack-dab in the middle of the region called Europe.

Mark Thornton September 6, 2011 at 10:31 am

Technically London is in Europe. This is only a technical indicator. Let’s hope it is wrong.

Orone September 7, 2011 at 3:40 am

In Milan there’s the brand new tallest Italian skyscraper.
Ironically is the new headquarter of the regional political authority: they’re getting bigger day after day.
And they’re building a new tallest one too:

Vanmind September 12, 2011 at 12:22 am

Maybe this time it’s once again a precursor to war.

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