Building up financial claims is nice, but whether they ultimately yield real money you just have to wait and see.
The Netherlands knows all about that. Its banks, insurers and pension funds had invested many billions in the American housing market through all kinds of bonds and mortgage-backed securities. When the market imploded in 2007 and kicked off the great financial crisis, a large part of the investments had to be written off.
For an aging country, it is wise to put some money aside and invest outside of the country in future production. But you should not exaggerate it, as the Netherlands has done for decades. The Dutch pension funds alone now have € 1,400 billion in assets – about twice the Dutch GDP – and the majority of these have been invested abroad.
It all started in the early Eighties when the Dutch formulated an answer to the crisis in those days. With a policy of wage moderation, they made their exports more competitive and at the same time they limited imports. Via trade – or rather, by parasitising on growth abroad – the Netherlands pulled the economy out of the situation smoothly. Later, the Germans under Chancellor Gerhard Schröder copied the Dutch example. This model also proved to be the solution for Germany, the then sick man of Europe. Lees verder