Sunday, February 26, 2006

Stuff like this drives me crazy

Over and over, articles and blog posts about the Dubai Ports World asset acquisition have been citing these statistics from the Center for Security Policy:*
This is not the first time this interagency panel — called the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) — has made an astounding call about the transfer of control of strategically sensitive U.S. assets to questionable purchasers. In fact, as of last summer, CFIUS had, since its creation in 1988, formally rejected only one of 1,530 transactions submitted for its review.
But I wanted to know: What was that sole rejected transaction by CFIUS? I mean, if CFIUS thinks that a UAE-owned company operating major ports in the United States is okay, just what kind of deal would it shoot down?

Well, this is what it shot down.
In 1999, [CFIUS] rejected the sale of a $450 million satellite owned by bankrupt telecom company Global Crossing to a Chinese consortium on the grounds of technology transfer and national security.
Good to know. Then again, the committee turned right around and gave the thumbs-up to the purchase of IBM’s personal computer business by a Chinese computer company despite similar technology and security concerns.

Guess IBM has better lobbyists than a bankrupt telecom company.

*The Center for Security Policy doesn't cite any source(s) for these statistics. That drives me crazy too.

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