For Sale: America

From Manhattan's high-rises to Oregon's forests, the big buyout is on

"Everything here is so cheap!"

-- A Japanese real estate agent visiting Manhattan

"The political issue of the 1990s is going to be the foreign invasion of the U.S."

-- Paul Krugman, M.I.T. economist

It was an unlikely stop for sightseers, but there they were: two carloads of serious-minded, dark-suited Japanese in a deserted parking lot in Chattanooga, Tenn. Each carrying a packed briefcase, the visitors gazed long and intently at the object of their interest: a rusted, run-down manufacturing plant as big as five football fields. The plant was obsolete and abandoned, but the Japanese were delighted by their discovery....