Thursday, July 10, 2008

Foreign Investment

Our Muslim friends now own the Chrysler Building. The reason that that concerns me is because I’ve read the Qur’an. But that’s where we’re at. This particular sale is fine with me; see the opinion on urban real estate from two days ago. The domestic reaction to the Chrysler Building sale is of interest to me because of a small family investment we have in a foreign country. International money and national interest are not one in the same.

The textbook theory is that the foreigner is held hostage to the nation-state selling a portion of itself. If I, or the Arabs, or the nation states from which we hail misbehave, (or the Gods to which we pray?), the foreign investments would be nationalized, and returned to the indigenous population. The theory has its limits however.

There are countries that are largely owned by foreign investors and, if the SHTF, the foreign interests would no doubt step in and take over the security apparatus. In other countries (China, Russia, Japan), the state remains strong and foreign investment is unquestionably held hostage.

Foreign investment is still held hostage in America, although to a much lesser extent than it was ten years ago. There are strong forces that would like to put global interests in the driver’s seat. James Madison and 280 million firearms say that they won’t be successful. The most likely outcome is very similar to the Arab nationalization of Western oil assets in the 20th Century.

Perhaps the Chrysler Building will see future use as a homeless shelter. Maybe a jail.

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