Again just back to a pet notion of mine: all this debt + demographic aging in the West is going to lead to some countries selling off or making available for sale things that otherwise would not be considered to outsiders they would also not otherwise tolerate.
Point came up in recent Wikistrat sim on the Arctic: Can you imagine China buying its way onto the Arctic Council by so bankrolling/purchasing/whatever a member state (bankrupt Iceland, independence-minded Greenland, etc.) that it effectively captures its seat. I know, it sounds impossible, but then you remember how America got its seat (Alaska). But then you say, those were different times when bankrupt states or overstretched regimes would sell off that which they could no longer manage/exploit/defend (like Russia on Alaska).
But then I wonder: why can't we collectively head back into that territory with all this debt and demographic aging in the West. Is this not the elderly couple downsizing their house - just writ large?
So you look at Spain right now, and the NYT headline reads, "Spain woos foreigners to thin its investory of unsold homes."
Now, Spain has always been sort of interesting on immigration - as in, innovative. They wooed foreign workers in the good times, and then subsidized their return home in the bad times. So now they're being aggressively innovative in the bankrupt times.
But it gets you thinking, huh?