It’s nice to know, what with the global economy collapsing and the Mayan end-date steadily approaching, that some people are flush with cash and just itching for ways to spend it. Chinese companies, for instance, who are headed to the UK for a bit of shopping beyond Oxford Street. For starters, they’re planning to buy US$1.33 billion worth of Rolls-Royce aircraft engines, 3,000 Jaguars, and 6,000 Land Rovers, no doubt soon to be fitted with white military plates and running red lights all across China. But it’s not just in the UK that companies are looking to spend money: China Development Bank is hoping to buy a stake in Shenzhen Development Bank, while PetroChina is adding to its long list of foreign energy deals by signing an agreement with ExxonMobil for Australian natural gas. Of course, not everyone is doing so well, and naturally it’s the little man who is hurting the most. Workers in Shenzhen are noticing their bosses developing a troubling habit of disappearing without paying wages, to the tune of US$4.39 million in the last three months of 2008. On the bright side, maybe the bosses are holding onto cash in the hopes of bringing back to China two looted statues set to be auctioned off in Paris. Or maybe not.