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China could be the next country to go bust, if its headlong rush to build ever-taller skyscrapers is a guide to its future economic health. According to a study by Barclays Capital, the mania for skyscrapers over the last 140 years is a sure indicator of an imminent crash. More recently, Dubai built a forest of skyscraping offices, hotels and apartment buildings, including the world’s tallest, the Burj Khalifa, before it got into terrible financial difficulties. In 2010 Dubai had to be bailed out by its neighbour, Abu Dhabi, to avoid going bankrupt.

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