The US, UK and a few other western countries are presently experiencing an unprecedented meltdown in real estate. US foreclosures are at an all time high. American and other banks have been hit with real estate losses well into the tens, if not hundreds of billions of dollars, with the worse yet to come! UBS (think Switzerland) and the mighty US' Citibank have taken tens of billions of dollars in losses due to this debacle. And it is only just starting! Both banks have been forced to sell off their assets (shares,) to several United Arab Emirate countries, as well as to the government of Singapore, which paid 11bn US Dollars for a good size number of UBS' shares. I wouldn't be surprised to see these once great banking institutions taken over by foreign government in the not too distant future! I was watching a Bloomberg news report during the holidays and was shocked when they reported that the USA alone had experienced a 1.2 trillion dollar (read that TRILLION,) loss in home equity values during November 2007. That is an unprecedented sum of wealth which is certain to cause considerable consternation for many an American and businessman, especially bankers. Something is amiss and the doo doo is certain to hit the fan shortly.