French investment in the US has skyrocketed ever since a majority of French voters may have voted "Non" in terms of accepting an EU constitution. From Barrons Online:
Indeed, capital inflows from France have jumped sharply since May -- the same month the French citizenry voted "No" in the European Union constitutional referendum. Through the first eight months of 2005, net purchases of U.S. assets by French investors totaled $16.8 billion, greater than cumulative inflows over the entire first half of this decade ($16.4 billion). Apparently, despite tense U.S.-Franco relations, the French appetite for U.S. assets has never been greater.
Not exactly a vote of confidence in their referendum outcome. It also lends insight into the demographics of the vote. Those with money thus probably wanted a yes vote.
It's a fairly strong economic vote of confidence in the US, at least as a safer haven than France or Europe, since A) it comes at a time when the general French opinion of the US is quite negative given the war in Iraq and B) it's happening even in the face of recent dollar strength. The article continues, pointing out that while the French are investing, "petrodollars" aren't being reinvested into the US like they used to:
We keep reading about all those petrodollars being recycled into the U.S., yet contrary to what's being reported in the media, petrodollar purchases of U.S. securities slowed dramatically in the second quarter. In fact, U.S. capital inflows from the oil producing nations totaled a miserly $3.5 billion in the second quarter of this year, a fraction of inflows in the first quarter ($21.5 billion) and fourth quarter of 2004 ($23 billion). Even Brazil, a market not typically known for its purchases of U.S. securities, sunk more money into U.S. dollar assets during the second quarter ($6.4 billion) than did the oil producers.
So while US investors are increasingly looking abroad, the US is still a foreign capital magnet thanks to far too much money just sitting around idle:
Given the massive global savings glut and the increasing ease by which capital transfers around the world, the U.S. remains a magnet for foreign capital. To say that the end is near for this debt-stretched nation is to disregard just how diverse U.S. capital inflows really are. U.S. capital inflows are not only about Japan, China and lately, petrodollars. The global savings pool is deep and diverse, a dynamic that keeps the world's largest debtor nation afloat.