Wednesday, November 28, 2007

See the world and buy it up, all the day you'll have good luck

Benjamin Franklin made famous the saying, "see a penny, pick it up, all the day you'll have good luck." He also said, "neither a borrower nor a lender be."

Whatever. Flush with cash, oil exporting countries are looking for some place to stick it. The New York Times reports:
“If you look at gulf countries, they have a total common economy that is about the size of the Netherlands,” said Edward L. Morse, chief energy economist of Lehman Brothers. “These are tiny countries, but they have to place collectively over $5 billion a week from their oil revenues. It’s not an easy thing to do.”
Though oil-producing countries have been looking at investments in the West since the 1970s, their strategies back then were largely confined to safe assets with a low return, like United States Treasury debt.

By 2001, with the collapse in oil prices, many of the oil exporters had depleted their dollar reserves, economists say.

But the boom in oil prices in the last five years has changed all that. It has persuaded oil producers to set up or expand “sovereign wealth funds” as vehicles to invest far more aggressively in the West, in their own economies and in emerging markets.
“The oil-producing countries simply cannot absorb the amount of wealth they are generating,” said J. Robinson West, chairman of PFC Energy. “We are seeing a transfer of wealth of historic dimensions. It is not just Qatar and Abu Dhabi. Investment funds are being set up in places like Kazakhstan and Equatorial Guinea.”
Recently Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, has spoken of a “global savings glut” that has lowered interest rates worldwide. Ms. Farrell, of the McKinsey Institute, estimates that petrodollars may have kept American interest rates three-quarters of a percentage point lower than they would otherwise be, a direct benefit to American consumers.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home