Forget charts, chicken entrails and other passe means of trying to predict economic downturns; instead look towards the sky, and the skyscrapers being built.
That at least is the conclusion drawn by Barclays Capital, which has concluded that the construction of skyscrapers heralds financial collapse.
To justify their theory, Barclays note that New York's Equitable Life building, was finished in 1873 during a 5 year recession and that the Empire State Building coincided with the Great Depression.
Chicago's Willis Tower built in 1974, heralded the oil shock. Malaysia's Petronas Towers were completed in 1997 at the time of the Asian financial crisis, whilst the Burj Khalifa in Dubai was finished at the time the Dubai property market fell over.
Barclays now warn that China, currently building 53% of the world's skyscrapers, may face economic problems as could India (currently building 14).
Closer to home, we have The Shard in London!
It may well be that skyscrapers herald economic problems. However, it is not the skyscraper itself that causes the problems but the hubris and egos that cause them to be built.