A sweet deal that left a bitter taste!

Posted on: 16 February 2010 by Mark O'haire

The sale of Cadburys to US Kraft has upset a lot of people.

CadburysThere are those of us that feel that ‘national institutions’ such as Cadburys should be kept in a glass case and admired from afar. I can understand the emotions that are triggered by childhood memories of the 1p bar of Dairy Milk wrapped so enticingly in its blue and silver foil. But let’s get real Cadburys is still only a company – a legal entity created in law to trade. Whether it is owned by a US giant is to me immaterial. Jobs will still be there and so will the VAT and the Corporation Tax. The net difference to the UK is the dividends will be paid to Kraft. Now it may be that there will be job losses and manufacturing may move around, but this may well have happened with or without Kraft. The government made feeble gestures to ‘protect jobs’ but Mandleson was only doing this to ‘grandstand’ the press and get a few column inches.

No the real issue is whether the company was sold at the right price? In the world we currently live in, the price may seem fair – well the shareholders thought so, they sold! I’m not sure, I think it went cheap and we have again as a country lost a long term opportunity. China and India are going to be the economic powerhouses of the future with nearly half the world’s population living there. It is a known fact that as western consumerism rapidly spreads across both these countries so is taste for ‘good old’ chocolate! In the long term this could make Kraft one of the world’s leading confectioners. Kraft will be the winner and we will be the long term loser. Where will the chocolate be made – well China of course!

The squeeze is going to tighten!

The UK bank's need to re-energise their balance sheets in showing bankers for what they have always been – exploiters of the community. Let me give you a scenario – I borrow £100 from you and give you 25p for lending it to me for a year. I then lend that same £100 to another friend and she gives me £18 for lending it to her for a year!

Fair – not bloody likely! But this is what the banks are doing each and every day with credit cards. While this is happening six out of ten small businesses in the UK are being refused loans by the banks – some national spirit there! How are the businesses getting by – well by using their credit cards of course! Simple isn’t it – it’s called Banking! I have another name for the bankers – but will leave you to work out what it is!

By Tony Page

Thought for the day?

‘As you age do you just get grumpy and cynical? Or are you just better at seeing through the bullshit?’

Answers on a post card please...

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