Labor Law Guy

The Skyscraper Index: Believe It If You Choose

Posted in Random Musings by laborlawguy on February 9, 2009

A theory from 1999 is resurfacing as the world plunges deeper into its current economic woes: The theory that the building of skyscrapers predates economic doom. This tidy bit of logic was conceived by Andrew Lawrence, at one time a researcher for Deutsche Bank.

Here are the “facts”:

The Chrysler Building in 1929 and the Empire State Building in 1930 gave way to the Great Depression. The Sears Tower and World Trade Center of the 1970s yielded a decade of stagflation. For the Asian crash of 1997, the Petronas Twin Towers of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, proved the culprit.

More currently, last year’s construction of ten (ten!) sky-highers at an average height of more than 1,000 feet took the world’s economy down as they went up. Finally, this year the Burj Dubai skyscraper, at 800 meters, or more than 2,500 feet, will become the world’s tallest building by a factor approaching two, but will it lead to the world’s greatest depression?

Stay tuned, and we’ll all find out, like it or not.

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