We might have just found the issue and story that crystalizes the anxieties of all Americans around a protectionist message. The story is:
Citigroup Inc., the biggest U.S. bank by assets, will receive a $7.5 billion cash infusion from Abu Dhabi to replenish capital after record mortgage losses wiped out almost half its market value. … the state-owned Abu Dhabi Investment Authority
Let’s put the pieces together.
- We have a shadowy Middle Eastern monarch. A King. He is loaded up to the gills with oil money.
- We are worried about Middle Eastern terrorism.
- We have a domestic housing crises that risks being a larger economic crisis.
- We have an intangible crisis of confidence involving globalization.
- This is about our banks and our money. Now some king in the Middle East tied to oil — and inevitably terrorism, legitimately or not — makes money if I don’t pay off the whole balance on my Citibank credit card.
Remember the 80s when people were taking sledge hammers to Japanese cars? How do you take sledge hammers to banks? Owned by Arabs. Etc.
This a made for demogoguery moment. If you thought Dubai Ports was bad (and, btw, I think that the President got it right, but you knew I was a rabid internationalist) just you wait.