Experts debate Middle East while West acts to stem turmoil

Energy and the Middle East were the focuses of discussion at today’s sessions of Fund Strategy’s Investment Summit in Dubai. James Woudhuysen, the professor of innovation at De Montfort University, argued that a culture of green caution in the West is damaging prospects for investment in innovation in the energy sector. Eckart Woertz of the Gulf Research Centre looked at how the Gulf economies are changing as a result of economic development. Later on Mina Toksoz of Standard Back and Dilip Hiro, the author of more than 30 books, took a closer look at developments in the Gulf itself.
Meanwhile, the world’s financial authorities are taking drastic action to try to restore confidence in the markets. Britain announced its financial rescue package, which amounts to a part nationalisation of the banks, while several central banks announced a co-ordinated rate cut. It is difficult to imagine what Western governments will do if the latest round of actions do not bring calm.
Tomorrow’s session at the summit will include a discussion of the market turmoil and the global economy. It will be particularly interesting to see how the delegates and their clients perceive the situation. There will also be a session on the future for long-only funds. The way things are going the prospects for such products, at least in the short and medium term, look bleak. However eloquent the advocates of such products are they are likely to find it tough to reassure nervous investors.