Investors Without Borders

The expansion of the number of geopolitical actors in the world economy and the integration of the worlds business communities into one global community have combined to increase the number of investment options available to corporations and investors and to reduce the power of nation-states to manipulate flows of investment dollars, whether acting individually or in groups.[1}

Numerous nations now boast stable political systems, offer production costs that more than offset the cost of shipping finished goods to affluent consumer markets, and are home to world-class cities that are suitable locations for global and regional corporate headquarters.  Sizable populations of affluent consumers now dot the globe.[2]

In this world, owners of capital and multinational corporations now have considerably more locations for profitable and politically secure investments and much more power to play one geopolitical entity off against others, including both national governments and sub-national governments (e.g., states, provinces, major cities).

In ecological terms, the habitat for owners of capital has grown substantially larger and more abundant over the last fifty years.  They enjoy enhanced leverage in the system as a whole, while their potential opponents (political leaders, government bureaucrats, unions, and citizen groups) have less leverage.

[1] This is one of the main reasons why it is so difficult to impose economic sanctions on a rogue nation.

[2] Recently, automobile sales in China surpassed sales in the U.S.