Saturday, 3 July 2010


Because Sterling has lost around 25% of its value against the dollar in the last 2 ½ years, and the feeble recovery in the UK economy, British companies have become far more accessible to American corporations looking to expand their interests on this side of the Atlantic.

Following the Kraft takeover of Cadbury, Tate and Lyle’s buy over, and Gatwick Airport’s purchase by an American private equity firm, Standard & Poor, who did for the Euro when it looked likely that it would take over from the dollar as the gold standard currency, predicted last week that a number of w
ell-known UK companies, including AstraZeneca, BAE Systems and Balfour Beatty, would soon be purchased by American firms.

It seems that Standard and Poor only have to predict something and it happens, such is the sensitivity of the markets. I think it’s time we examined just how much power these firms have, and exactly how they use that power and for whom... or what.


  1. Why has standard and poors got an apostrophe in it?

  2. Well Munguin, I'm not sure. It must, as QM suggests, be genitive, but what exactly it’s possessing is a bit of a mystery to me.....

  3. Thank you QM but possessive of what? Typical Americans they put in a possessive apostrophe where there is nothing to possess.(sorry Danny)

  4. It was founded by Henry Varnum Poor is all, it's his possession (or was) Similar to Barclay's ot Macdonald's.

  5. Gotcha QM, thanks for the research.....

    The "corporation" is assumed.

  6. atleast the americans will be paying for the things in britian unlike what the british paid or not paid for real estate in usa.!

  7. "Herrumph" Munguin (LOL):

    Why the very idea.....suggesting that the shy, retiring, soft-spoken Americans are in the slightest bit "possessive." ;-)

    And as for the grammar, if the Americans do it, it must surely be right. We even SPELL things correctly after all. You put all those unnecessary U's in words like labor, color, and honor. And you spell "defense" with a C, and "civilization" with an S. Why I could go on and on.....and of course usually do.

    Truth is, I thought it was probably "Standard and Poors" (without even thinking that "Poors" might be a strange word in that context.) But now I know about Henry Varnum Poor. You always learn something interesting at Munguin's Republic.

  8. Danny: sorry about that. But I would beg to suggest that you soft spoken Americans actually took the U out of those words rather than us adding them in. Semantics I know. You also spell aluminium differently I understand. Happy Independence Day btw.

  9. Thanks a lot Munguin. (And I had forgotten about that extra I in Aluminum...LOL.)

  10. Actually, there is an argument that Americans speak a more grammatically correct English than the English themselves do, Danny, so you have a 'case' there (if you pardon the pun). For example your use of the subjective mood of the verb is far more marked than it is in the UK, even in learned writings.

    As for the apostrophic genitive case of nouns, most Brits don’t have a clue. You see signs outside shops offering “Carrot’s, Turnip’s and Parsnip’s” and inside you are invited to enjoy ‘’tea’s’’ and “coffee’s” or are directed to the “Childrens Department”.... Lord only knows what a “childrens” is!

    A survey of university lecturers found that the written submissions of foreign students where English was their countries‘ first (or main) language: e.g. Australia, USA, parts of Canada, NZ, Nigeria, Ghana, India, etc, displayed the best English; the second best came from students whose first language was say French or German, Italian, Finnish (ie another European language), and the least able students, from a grammatical point of view were those from the UK. A very sad tale to tell.

    As for the argument about "s" or "z", I seem to recall that, in fact the Oxford prefers the "z" spelling, but allows the "s".

    Oh I love grammar!! but all too often I fall flat on my face over some small error.

  11. Very interesting indeed Tris. I'm afraid that our schools (whether US or Britain) are not really doing a very good job teaching grammar or spelling. As for spelling, I do use spell checkers of course. And it's fun to get some message in British English and subject it to my American spell checker when, for example I attach a reply. It lights up like a Christmas tree when it encounters all those British spellings...LOL.

  12. I don't think they do it at all in Scotland. I remember a few years ago when I was teaching French to adults, the nightmare of no one having a clue about verbs or nouns...

    It's difficult to explain conjugation when what you are conjugating is a concept completely unknown to the learner.

  13. All the more reason to have EU economic governance, and Britain at the beating heart of a European Federal Union...

  14. AAA at Silly PredictionsJuly 04, 2010 5:08 pm

    S&P must take a lot of the blame for the crisis in the economy. They were giving AAA ratings to financial products which went on to fail abysmally. Credit Suisse lost investers £400m in CDO's that were AAA rated by S&P. There were hundreds of other AAA products that failed aswell. I expect the problem is related to the fact that the banks etc pay S&P to give them the ratings. Slight conflict of interest there I would think.

    " All the more reason to have EU economic governance, and Britain at the beating heart of a European Federal Union... "

    You still haven't noticed that the EU is bankrupt ? Keep taking these tablets. It must be brilliant living in a fuzzy fantasy world. You're not in charge of moving machinery or anything are you ?

  15. AAA... yep, never trust anything that has a vested interest... or gets paid to do anything, or that has a target. Standard and Poor’s are probably willing to say whatever pays the best dosh. In my opinion they went for the € when it looked like it was threatening the supremacy of the $. Simples.

    I'm not sure that the EU is bankrupt though, although like most countries in the world, some of its members are pretty near the edge, and that includes the UK.

    Actually, I understand that of all the European countries the UK is the most broke, however, it has a very good record of paying back its debts, mainly on the basis that its inhabitants are so supine they bend over and take whatever is coming to them... a million job losses in the public sector, a cut of 25% in every service.... a hike in VAT..... yeah no bother.... just don’t shut down the bingo parlours or the pubs and the working class will be happy, and don’t close down the loopholes by which the rich can avoid any of this nonsense that hits ordinary people and the knobs will be happy....

    Moving machinery ....LOL LOL LOL

  16. tris

    The EU is bankrupt. You can tell because it loaned £800Bn to members of the EU last year ( money created out of thin air by the way) and last week when it expected to get it's money back it had to rollover the loans for another 3 months to give the countries more breathing space and time to repay. Do you really think they will suddenly find the money in 3 months ?
    Greece wiped out the EU reserves of cash and it'll need more money soon.
    The UK is uniquely placed to be the biggest defaulter. We're borrowing £150Bn a year just to tick over. Our debt is now £850Bn which will have doubled by the end of this coalition parliament. This doesn't even take into account the £1tr in public sector pensions and the untold billions in Labour's PFI contracts.
    I love reading Deans blog as it's like entering another dimension. 'The EU will rein in the bankers ' etc. I think social science degrees should be banned as the tutors are polluting their students minds with new right EU rubbish.

  17. Exactly AAA... bvut what is money anyway. I mean, all these G8 "richest" countries in the world eating canapés and drinking Krug 1995 Clos d' Ambonnay at £2000 a bottle are all in debt to China, which was only there as a part of G20... I ask you... France, UK, America, Italy for pity's sake....

    So what on earth is it all about... it's all a game, and the big boys play us, and we...well, we just pay....

    Don't knock Dean too much. We were all young and idealistic at one stage.... and Dean, I'm not being patronising, believe me. I mean that. If you can't be idealistic at 21 or 22 when the hell can you be?

  18. tris

    Yes it's all a game. Opening up the money printing presses is a wizard weeze for the morons in charge of the asylum.

    That's true about Dean. Luckily idealism will be kicked out of him by the realities of the real world. You can tell the stuff he's reading as his blog is like reading a social science foundation course book.
    Personally I can't believe I used to vote SNP. Every time I think of Alex Salmond hugging the Maldives president at Copenhagen I inwardly squirm with embarrassment at my stupidity for putting any faith in him. But live and learn.

  19. So, if you used to vote SNP presumably you would be in favour of independence?

    I see the SNP as the best, and indeed only serious, way of achieving that aim.

    There are good and bad things about them.

  20. tris

    I favour independence but the SNP aren't even interested in that anymore.

  21. I think they are... but there are different ways to skin a cat...or indeed achieve independence :)