Received this today from my Wall Street Journal News Alert Service (emphasis mine):
Morgan Stanley swung to a fourth-quarter net loss of $3.59 billion from a profit of $2.21 billion a year earlier. The investment bank announced a further $5.7 billion in mortgage-related write-downs, for a total $9.4 billion in write-downs for the quarter. CEO John Mack said he won’t accept a bonus for 2007.
Morgan Stanley also said it received an investment of $5 billion from China Investment Corp., the country’s sovereign wealth fund, which the bank said will be a passive investor.
I would expect more of such deals in the future. If you’ve never looked into how much of American business is propped up or owned by non-American interests, it can be a shocking realization.
Though I mentioned them recently, they bear repeating:
The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today…
The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail.
Deuteronomy 28:15, 43-44
If foreign investors of such huge sums are “passive” (and the fact that Morgan Stanley chose to stress this element is noteworthy), it is only because they are desperate. And should that desperation increase beyond a certain point, I would expect that passivity to melt away.