Friday, September 7, 2012

Egyptian Monopoly

Show me the money
Global financial crisis depressing lending and investment opportunities?  Not here.  Whether it is announcements of Qatari grants, or Chinese joint ventures, or U.S. debt relief, or concessionary EU loans, or the IMF begging to offer credit at five times below market rates, everyone wants to get a piece of the action with Egypt's new ruling regime.  It is time to set the rules of the game to be graced with our attention.

Tenders will be generally awarded to the highest bid following a competitive process, the rules of which will not be disclosed and are subject to change at our sole and absolute discretion, but the general idea is to show me the money.  Conditions on funding are acceptable, provided they do not make us look bad in the immediate term.  Any questions on the specific destination of the funds once received will not be answered.

Prices are quoted on a per annum basis.
Let the bidding begin!
  • Peace treaty with Israel:  Boardwalk.  $5 billion  Even if we could never actually cause much military damage, peace of mind comes at a price, and this is what it is.

  • Suez Canal navigation:  Park Place.  $3.5 billion.  It does not rank in first only because there is an immediate own-goal effect if Egypt gets crazy with canal management, as ships take the longer route around Africa.  Somali pirates might become surprising more active, however, should this become a trend.

  • Anti-Iran alliance:  Pennsylvania Avenue.  $1.5 billion, with a red hotel.  Egypt to share 10% of proceeds with Iran to keep everyone fretting.

Community chest
  • Dialogue with the “Islamic world”:  Get out of Jail Free.  $1.0 billion.  Makes pin-headed geo-strategist Obama feel good to reduce the world into false blocks, where touchy-feely dialogue substitutes for actual engagement.

  • Belly-dancers:  Community Chest.  $1.0 billion.  Gulf Arab lust satisfied, while Egyptian culture and traditions trampled upon.

  • Market access:   Railroad Utilities.  $500 million.  Privileged position vis a vi 85 million, mainly young consumers.

  • Nile cruise:  Baltic Avenue.  $50 million.  Preservation of decadent pleasure to visit the lovely sites in 40 degree heat without covering selves from head-to-toe, and maybe even still having choice of style of bathing costumes on the beach, but like the Suez Canal, this is partially self-regulated given flaky nature of tourists, so hard to drive up a higher price.

  • Protection of individual and minority rights:  Nada.  $0.  Would be nice to find a way to continue dangling the whining of Copts, women and liberals for some cash, but potential buyers not biting at our skimpy promises, and they anyway do not really care.

You're on your own

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