Monday, October 26, 2009

National Governments, Global Corporations

Someone I know invested part of his IRA in a Mexican transportation stock. I've resisted the temptation to invest my own in Chinese and Russian stocks - and glad I did, since the Russian ones have certainly taken a loss. I wonder how much stock of American companies is foreign-owned? Shares in our companies are certainly traded on exchanges around the world.

When our government props up an "American" corporation, who really owns it? Who owns the companies we rescue? We obviously cannot rescue just the American-owned shares. Are we not then rescuing the shares of investors around the world?

When ownership is global, what can be the national interest in rescuing a company? There is one answer I can see.

Jobs.

The global interest may be profits. The national interest is jobs.

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