Friday, September 21, 2007

Define "Sensitive Foreign Investment"

Dubai Agrees To Acquire 20% Stake in Nasdaq Market

3 Mideast Nations Seek Major Stakes in West

Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, September 21, 2007; Page D01

NEW YORK, Sept. 20 -- Middle Eastern governments announced a series of billion-dollar deals Thursday that would give them stakes in financial institutions at the heart of Western capitalism, raising concerns in Washington about sensitive foreign investments.

Under a complex three-way deal, the stock exchange owned by the government of Dubai would acquire a 19.9 percent stake in the Nasdaq Stock Market, becoming the first government in the Middle East to own a substantial interest in a U.S. exchange.

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Tired of life on the sidelines and disinterested in funding the American national debt at rates in constant decline, the Middle East is looking for a better deal.

The transactions are the latest examples of governments of emerging economies, rich in natural resources and with healthy foreign-exchange reserves, buying shares of some of the biggest names in business. In May, as the private-equity firm Blackstone Group took itself public, the Chinese government paid $3 billion to buy a 9.7 percent stake in the IPO.
Washington worries. It's their only remaining stock in trade, since they have become unable to govern. But fear not, you crazy, greedy elected representatives of a nation going to hell. "Tomorrow," as Scarlet O'Hara said, "is another day."


* For more in-depth articles by Jim on Middle East, check out Opinion-Columns.com