Iran celebrates global meltdown
Amidst the financial wreckage around the world, one government is celebrating, BBC reported.
Watching the global gnashing of teeth, the Islamic Republic of Iran is enjoying the ride.
"We are very happy that America's economy is in jeopardy and they are paying the price for their misdeeds. God is punishing them."
That is the verdict from Ayatollah Jannati, one of the most senior clerics in Iran.
President Ahmadinejad has pronounced on the collapse of global capitalism, and announced that Iranians should stand ready to manage the world.
If there is a Persian word for "schadenfreude", this is it.
And for the moment, Iran does seem to be above the fray.
Shares on the Tehran stock exchange, while down slightly in recent trading, have increased in value by 20% during the year.
In fact, to walk the floor of the Tehran Bourse, you could be excused for thinking you are in a parallel universe.
It looks like a normal stock exchange, with a vast computerised screen dominating the room and traders working from computer to phone to computer.
But share prices have been almost entirely unaffected by the credit crunch.
Stock market insiders told me what they were more interested in was the progress of a government privatisation plan, and other domestic factors.
Bahrom, a stockbroker watching the trading floor, explained that the crisis presented opportunities for Iran. He advised foreign investors to take a good look at the market here.
Another stockbroker said the market here was more about politics than economics.
Any foreign investors tempted to join the party should be warned that foreign investments need government approval, in a process that takes at least a month - and that is probably an optimistic assessment.