Tom Friedman writes an op-ed for the New York Times that every American should read. An excerpt:
I would also bet that more and more of the foreign investors who come our way are going to want to buy hard, tangible assets — skyscrapers, real estate and real companies — not just mutual funds, T-bills, bank stocks or other equities. No problem. Americans own assets all over the world; foreigners have long owned substantial positions in U.S. companies. That’s globalization — and now you are going to see globalization and financial integration on steroids. It should help us, but also change us.
“The next round of capital that comes in from abroad is going to be much more demanding and move into real assets,” argued Jeffrey Garten, professor of trade and finance at the Yale School of Management. “Being a bigger debtor nation means losing even more of our sovereignty. It means conducting our economic policies with an eye toward whether others approve. It means bearing the advice and criticism that we have dispensed ad nauseam to other countries for over half a century. It means far more intensive consultations with other capitals on our fiscal policies and our monetary policies.”
At the same time, added Garten, “Corporate decisions will become more sensitive to international factors, in part because more non-Americans will be on the governing boards.” Ultimately, this could make American industry even more globally competitive — but for those who can’t pass global muster or enlist global collaborators, the consequences could be harsh.