The decision by three banks to walk away from the negotiating table over Dubai Group's US$10 billion (Dh36.7bn) restructuring is a sign of the harsh new realities of the global banking business.
In 2010, about 90 banks were persuaded in a couple of months that they should come to terms with Dubai World over its $25bn restructuring.
In contrast, Dubai Group's stand-off with creditors has lasted since late 2010, when the company, part of the conglomerate owned by the Ruler of Dubai, missed two debt payments.
Progress has been made, but that was not sufficient for Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Commerzbank and Standard Bank. Why? The reference in a statement by RBS to "a number of factors outside our control" speaks volumes.
Since the Dubai World settlement, European banks' credit departments have gone into virtual meltdown; with one eye on the endless crisis of the euro zone, loan books have been subjected to savage rigour. Whereas in 2010 creditors were prepared to give Dubai the benefit of the doubt, in the hope of maintaining good commercial relations with the emirate during its recovery phase, now there is no such indulgence.
Perhaps also, for RBS at least, the gathering storm over Libor fixing in the United Kingdom was another external factor. The bank just has bigger fish than Dubai to fry these days.
The other reason for the banks' withdrawal is this: there are no bankruptcy arrangements in place for Dubai Group companies, as there were for Dubai World.
Decree 57 put in place the tribunal that could oversee compulsory bankruptcy arrangements, which acted as a strong deterrent to dissident creditors.
Those who have called for the decree's provisions to be extended across the emirate will feel vindicated by the Dubai Group situation.
But whether it's brinkmanship, bluff or sound business by the three dissident banks remains to be seen.