View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Thursday, June 17, 2004


Hat tip to Jared for pointing to this study of the regional effects of globalization.

Some of our local columnists, like Cindy Rodriguez, forget that there's a severe cost to not globalizing. The article rightly points out that many companies eventually locate their production facilities in the same country as their customers. This is not merely to avoid transportation costs. It's also to shield themselves from currency fluctuations. Hedging against currency changes is very expensive and time-consuming for multi-nationals, and this is a way of avoiding those costs. I'm sure that the anti-globalists are much happier seeing that money go to workers than to pay the commissions of currency traders, and line the pockets of George Soros. Ahem.

Also note that eventually, these local companies would go out of business. Their foreign competitors would either buy them out, or relocate their production here to the States (which happens pretty frequently, too). In either case, we'd then hear carping about foreign ownership of US assets. As if their owning our debt weren't bad enough.

One counterpoint, though. I heard a well-respected finance professor express favor for foreigners owning our debt, on the grounds that interlocking economies don't tend to go to war with each other. We heard exactly the same arguments about pre-WWI Europe, which just goes to show that nobody learns anything, no matter how much they know.

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