‘Nightly News’ Takes Protectionist Tone for Foreign Investment Story

January 17th, 2008 5:43 PM

American capitalism - it's so great even the Chinese Communist government loves it!

That's sounds like it ought to be a bumper sticker, but the January 16 "NBC Nightly News" advised it is something we should be cautious of.

Foreign investors have been on a buying spree in the U.S. stock markets - as stock prices have fallen with all the skittishness in the wake of the credit crunch.

"So far foreigners buying chunks of Wall Street has not triggered the same political uproar as a Dubai company's ill-fated effort to take over operations of U.S. ports, perhaps because politicians know the alternative could be painful," NBC correspondent Lisa Myers said.

And, turning foreign investment away would have dire consequences in short-term, as CNBC's Erin Burnett pointed out.

"If they could lay off a lot more people, lose a lot more money, put the financial system at risk; or they could get the money being offered by Asians and Arabs," Burnett said in the report. "Right now that's by far, of the two, the better choice."

The lack of foreign investment would have a short-term impact on the economy. Unfortunately, what the "Nightly News" left out is why it makes sense for the foreign entities to invest in the United States. It's not to have a controlling stake in the U.S. economy, but because the American free enterprise system gives them the benefit to make the most money.

"The Chinese aren't investing in America, the Arabs aren't investing in America because they like us," said George Freidman, founder of Strategic Forecasting, Inc., a private intelligence company, on the Dec. 17, 2007, Dennis Prager radio program. "They are making very careful choices about where they're likely to make the most money by investing. And what the Chinese are saying is, ‘I don't want to invest in China. I don't care if it's got 10, 12 percent growth. This is a dangerous climate. If I want to put my money into long-term growth, I'm going to do it in the United States.' And the Arabs are saying the same thing."