According to economist Hernando de Soto, in poor countries the main road block to growth is not lack of wealth. The issue is that most of the wealth held by citizens cannot be leveraged as collateral for any kind of routine financial or economic transactions: like getting a mortgage, a consumer loan, or a commercial loan in order to start, expand or purchase a business. In the U.S. in Europe, and elsewhere there are deeds held by property owners and accessible public documents that clearly define the boundaries of a property and allow anybody to reliably trace its lawful owners. Whenever properties are bought and sold, the records are updated to reflect all transactions. All this is clear and transparent.