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Posted by on Feb 24, 2008 in At TMV | 3 comments

The Idle Hands of Potential Predators

Thomas P.M. Barnett writes in Scripps Howard News about Foreign Direct Investment

If you’re America waging a long war against radical extremism, then helping to create those estimated 100 million new jobs in Middle East and North Africa over the next two decades is of paramount importance. Otherwise, there are a lot of “idle hands.”

Barnett, a national security expert, notices just how minor a role our military will play in bringing lasting stability to the region.

Foreign direct investment, or FDI, is the most important flow in the global economy, because it’s “sticky” money that invests in real things: companies, infrastructure, real estate, etc. When you invest directly in an economy, you plan to stay for a while, and that says to other potential investors: “I feel safe here. The rules are solid and clear. I can assess risk intelligently and hedge against it.” In that sense, FDI is the gift that keeps on giving — a seal of approval attracting more of the same.

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