The skyscraper index tells us that tall buildings and the market are closely correlated—and the unlucky ones being built during a catastrophic economic crisis run the risk of remaining incomplete forever. Such was the case with Sathorn Unique.
The Church of Scientology has reportedly spent roughly half a billion dollars buying up buildings in U.S. cities over the past few years—but, in many cases, these huge buildings have remained vacant. Now, the city of Philadelphia is taking the church to court over an empty tower.
Tall buildings are economic bellwethers: Evidence suggests they tend to rise just before recessions, and they're the first to proverbially fall when the bubble bursts. Nowhere is that more obvious than mid-sized American cities.
With an estimated 700 million of its billion or so residents now residing in urban areas, China has reached an important tipping point in its evolution from an agrarian to industrial economy. But this mass population migration, combined with China's insistence on central planning and general disdain for Keynesian…