By Sam Vaknin
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Author of "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited"
Libya has recently emerged as the second-biggest shareholder in Unicredit, Italy's number one bank and Europe's sixth largest banking institution, with a massive presence in Central and Eastern Europe. Japanese, Chinese, and Arab investors and sovereign wealth funds are purchasing Western assets at bargain basement prices: banks, brokerage houses, factories, and real estate.
The last 5 years witnessed a massive transfer of wealth from the West to the developing world. As the international prices of oil and commodities soared, Western consumers had to pay double and triple in hard currency. Trying to cut costs in a competitive, globalized world, Western companies established facilities and back offices in countries with cheap labor and tax benefits (a process called "offshoring").
The US dollars and euros accumulated by the likes or Russia, China, Venezuela, South Korea, Vietnam, and Nigeria were invested in bonds issued by Western governments and institutions. China alone holds more than 1 trillion (!) US dollars in American debt. The West pays an average of 6% in interest on these obligations, thus enriching the bondholders further.
It is safe to say that close to 7 trillion US dollars have relocated from the USA and Europe to Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Add to these another 10 trillion US dollars in losses in the various stock exchanges of the West and we are faced with an unprecedented situation: an impoverished West, financed by rich and increasingly more self-assertive Third World countries. Colonialism in reverse.
Sam Vaknin ( http://samvak.tripod.com ) is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East.
He served as a columnist for Central Europe Review, Global Politician, PopMatters, eBookWeb , and Bellaonline, and as a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent. He was the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101.
Visit Sam's Web site at http://samvak.tripod.com