In Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century, he occasionally analyzes the ownership of domestic assets by foreign countries. On p. 192, he writes:
Japan and Germany have accumulated quite significant quantities of net foreign assets over the past few decades... these amounts are still substantially lower than the net foreign assets of Britain and France on the eve of World War I... it is natural to ask whether this will continue. To what extent will some countries find themselves owned by other countries over the course of the twenty-first century?
A few years ago, there was panic in Vancouver, Canada over increasing real estate prices and it was hypothesized that it was due to increased investment from Chinese buyers. The National Bank of Canada wrote:
From this, we hypothesize that, in 2015, homebuyers from China invested ~US 9.9 billion / Cdn 12.7 billion in Vancouver residential real estate (on a total 2015 residential real estate purchase volume in greater Vancouver of Cdn 38.5 billion, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver); this amounts to 33% of total purchase volume... The estimated share of purchase volume seems high and we stress this methodology is truly a back-of-the-envelope attempt at gauging the significance of capital inflows from mainland China on the local residential real estate markets in Toronto and Vancouver.
I am looking for references to more material on this phenomenon of foreign ownership of domestic assets. Some topics in which I am interested are:
- Historical or present cases of a significant percentage of one country's assets being owned by foreigners, or (in the other direction) a significant percentage of a country's holdings or national income being derived from ownership of foreign assets.
- Past or present laws in countries enacted to restrict the degree to which foreigners can own domestic capital.
- Occurrences of reneging on the promise of property rights by governments taking away what foreigners owned.