Monday, July 14, 2008

Take that, St. Louis!

And so, it came to pass. The Belgian firm InBev purchased the American Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion, the third largest foreign takeover of a US firm in history. With this consolidation, an iconic American brand becomes an asset of a nominally European (though in most respects, a transnational) company. While the newly dubbed Anheuser-Busch InBev plans to hawk Bud the world over, production and marketing decisions are ultimately made overseas. Likewise, profits will also filter toward the other side of the pond.
So I put it to the reader: Does this make any difference? Will the movement of profits overseas affect the US economy? Does the purchase of other foreign-sourced goods and commodities, like cars and petroleum, have a negative impact on the economy? In light of the buyout, do you plan to serve steamed mussels and pommes frites at your next Super Bowl party?

Image source: Wikipedia

6 comments:

Pat Jenkins said...

as long as they don't change the "proof", i say drink up!!!... but seriously erd, america has been the influence and "envy" of the world over. and the desire to be apart of that american experience is wanted by many foreigners. as long as america is "allowed" to be the forerunner in global development of a prospesrious life this nation will never suffer from "outsiders"!!!

Sue said...

Given that beer is not a necessity of life (he, he), I'm not so concerned about this type of take over. However, foreign ownership of steel mills, municipal water companies, coal mines, and other such things I find a bit more concerning.

E. R. Dunhill said...

PJ,
I don't imagine they'll fiddle with a winning formula in the US, though foreign versions of the product will likely reflect local markets.
I'm curious as to who you feel has the power to "allow" or bar the US from being economically competitive.

E. R. Dunhill said...

Sue,
I think most university students, many Lutherans, and basically everyone I met in Prague last summer would disagree with you.
I'm curious as to the distinction you're making between various industries. Coal mines (and mineral and timber resources more generally) jump out at me, because resource extraction economies in the global south, dominated by foreign interests, are often weak and unstable. Can you elaborate a little on the other items?

Sue said...

erd, the things I chose to mention are all things that have foreign ownership now, and all things that relate to basic national and human security.

Water is obvious for human health, wellbeing and security. Folks in central Kentucky are struggling over the issue as to whether having the entity that controls their municipal water supply located in Germany more problematic than having that entity located within the city limits.

Coal and steel are crucial to our industrial and military base. Some other nations (Japan, England, Germany, etc.) nationalize some of these industries for a number of reasons, one being economic and military security.

Pat Jenkins said...

well erd i think the political left has made it fairly obvious they would prefer a handcuffed "big buisness" to prevent america from being to dominate!!