By the end of 1990, foreign direct investment—that is, investment in manufacturing, real estate, raw materials extraction, financial institutions, etc., made by capitalists of all lands outside their national borders—reached over $1.5 trillion. Actually, this official estimate grossly understates the case because it is based on book values. But even as a minimum estimate, what is significant about this number is not only its size but the unprecedented speed with which it has grown in the last two decades: the amount directly invested in foreign lands nearly tripled in the 1980s alone. Moreover, this investment went far beyond manufacturing and the extraction of raw materials. To an ever larger extent foreign capital spread to such fields as finance, real estate, insurance, advertising, and the media.
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