"Using excess dollars earned as a result of the massive US trade deficit, foreigners are buying up big chunks of the nation's businesses and properties.
"The latest shoppers: Abu Dhabi for New York's Chrysler Building and a Belgian-Brazilian brewery for Anheuser-Busch..
" 'It's the single biggest transfer of wealth in the shortest period of time in the history of mankind,' says Auggie Tantillo, executive director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, a group of mostly small manufacturers worried by their loss of business to foreign companies.
" 'We can't continue to transfer US wealth at this rate. We are basically selling off the furniture to pay for Thanksgiving dinner,' says Peter Morici, a professor at the University of Maryland's business school in College Park. He roughly calculates that at the present rate of deficits, foreigners could own in a decade more than a fifth of the nation's total $35 trillion or so in assets of every kind - corporations, businesses, and real estate.
" 'We are very vulnerable now,' says Mr. [Charles] McMillion [of MGB Information Services in Washington]. To finance the trade deficit, the US must borrow money or sell assets worth $2 billion a day - a shift that will eventually erode American living standards, he argues."
-Christian Science Monitor