Since 2007, sovereign wealth funds have spent almost $80 billion to buy stakes in U.S. companies, in particular banks that were desperately in need of a capital infusion. Now, the International Herald Tribune is reporting that the lender of last resort may be having second thoughts. Even though most SWF don't have to report mark-to-market losses in public, they still want to make a return, and some high profile investments, such as those in Merrill Lynch (MER), are not turning out as expected. Many SWF are now entering "south-south" trades, or in other words, simply investing in other emerging economies. While the moves are being made to not only look for higher return, south-south trades also prevent emerging economies (many of which got their start-up capital from the West) from simply recycling their funds back into these same economies. Oil-exporting countries for one are looking to hedge against oil price fluctuations by becoming underweight assets correlated with oil prices, i.e., just about everything U.S. based. If this trend persist, then many small, medium, and even large companies may start depending more on alternative forms of capital, such as the hedge fund lending discussed in a recent post.