Commentary - 03/06/2008

21st Century Cattle Rustlin'

Here's the latest headlines for America losing control over its cattle trade:
Dealmaking Sweeps U.S. Beef Market -
Brazilian Co. Buying US Beef Processors - AP
JBS, the new US beef giant, expects deals to pass - Reuters
Meatpacking deals could spur more consolidation - Canadian Press

After you read through a few of the above articles, take a look back to 1889!
The Money Power Has Devoured The Live Stock Trade In Cattle
The Money Kings Devoured the Dressed Beef Traffic
The Money Power is Devouring the Cattle Ranches of the Western Plains

We've been through this before. It seems that the international financiers make money on plantationizing the beef trade. Then they make money on breaking up what used to be called "trusts." Then they make money on consolidating (plantationizing) the beef trade once again, which they're doing now.

What's interesting is how they do it from the inside out. First they get major control of the company, staff it board with agents, and when the time comes the agents agree to be bought out. Take a look here at the Top 10 Major Holders [which don't read like farm-type names to me] of Smithfield Foods: [Article continues after table.]

Symbol Name Of Corporation

Smithfield Foods Inc. (As of 31-Dec-2007)
Top 10 Institutional HoldersShares2007Value2006
Tradewinds Global Investors, LLC9,925,7317.39%$287,052,140-.--%
Lazard Asset Management LLC8,059,7076.00%$233,086,726-.--%
Lord Abbett & Co7,333,4545.46%$212,083,489-.--%
FMR LLC (Fidelity)5,927,8554.41%$171,433,566-.--%
Bank of New York Mellon Corporation5,223,3503.89%$151,059,282-.--%
Barclays Global Investors UK Holdings Ltd3,845,8022.86%$111,220,593-.--%
Highside Capital Management, LP3,800,0002.83%$109,896,000-.--%
Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.3,147,9352.34%$91,038,280-.--%
Vanguard Group, Inc. (The)2,934,1422.18%$84,855,386-.--%
Artisan Partners Limited Partnership2,681,1002.00%$77,537,412-.--%
% of Shares Held by All Insider and 5% Owners:13%-.--%
Top 10 [4.0%] of 247 Institutional Holders Control39.35%-.--%
Percentage of Barclays and "Associates" Control22.48%-.--%
NOTE: Lord Abbett manages a fund that controls 2.79%.
Vanguard manages two funds that control 2.98%.
Fidelity manages a fund that controls 2.23%.
Therefore, the TOP 10 major holders control 47.42% of Smithfield Foods.

Notice that over 22% is controlled by Barclays and Associates from London, England, and only 4% of the shareholders control over 47% of the company. Drill down through the links within the TOP 10 group and you'll see more inter-connections. Now if you take a slight side-trip for an overview of the economic history of Brazil, you'll see how the same international financiers manipulated the boom/bust cycles until they acquired total control of Brazil. Expanding their current agents of Tyson Foods or Cargill would certainly be too obvious and would meet with anti-trust problems. They're close enough to those type of problems as it is.

One side of this story that nobody is going to mention is that these financiers first had to come up with a way to break up a highly successful farm cooperative named Farmland Industries. Here's a bit about it:

At its peak, the organization was the largest agricultural cooperative in North America, owned by 1,700 farm cooperatives in the United States, Canada and Mexico, which cooperatives were in turn owned by more than 600,000 farmer families. It had 16,000 employees in all 50 states and 90 countries. In 1977 it ranked #78 on the Fortune 100 company list.[1] In 2001, its annual revenues were in excess of $11.8 billion. It was listed as one of Fortune's "most admired" companies. It ranked #170 on the Fortune List when it dissolved.
Now that's what I call a "real U.S. company." I'm sure "eastern capital" was salivating at the chance to take away all that business. Farmland Industries was set up by being talked into taking on some extra debt [Money power's standard M.O.] then finding itself in financial trouble because the same people who want to break it up also control the big banks, and were in the position to refuse, especially when working a plan.
The cooperative entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May 2002 after failing to secure a $500 million loan to meet lender demands on cash requirements (in its filing it listed $2.7 billion in assets and $1.9 billion in debt).
Notice that it say's "to meet lender demands!" It's also real interesting that J.P.Morgan Trust got itself appointed the Farmland Industries' liquidating trustee, as shown here.
The company, once the largest farm-owned cooperative in North America, said J.P. Morgan Trust Co. was appointed the company's liquidating trustee and will be in charge of distributing the payments."
Now it is even more interesting on how Farmland Industries was broken up. Recognize the names?!
It was affected by a prolonged downturn in fertilizer prices, coupled with high energy prices and capital costs. The reorganization process resulted in the sale of virtually all of the company's assets, including the following subsidiaries: Farmland Foods, Inc., the pork processing division to Smithfield Foods for $367M; Farmland National Beef Packing Company to US Premium Beef for $232M; and the fertilizer production division to Koch Industries.
So, US Premium Beef bought from the co-op at $232M and sold it to JBS for $560M. Not bad for less than a five year investment. [Fall, 2003] That's simply the way the money power works. "National Beef has about 8,800 employees" that will answer to someone here, who will be dependent on what some yahoo thinks in Brazil, who in turn answers to someone in England? In my book, that comes under lyin' and stealin', maybe even cattle rustlin'. Farmland Industries was one of Kansas City's best companies, but in the end, simply no match for the foreign money power.
Farmland Industries was headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, with branch offices throughout the Midwest and international offices in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Paris, France; Bremen, Germany; Budapest, Hungary; Almaty, Kazakhstan; Tokyo, Japan; Mexico City, Mexico; Moscow, Russia; Seoul, South Korea; Geneva, Switzerland; Kiev, Ukraine; Nikolaev, Ukraine; London, United Kingdom; and Akkala, Uzgekistan.
You can see just how important it was for the foreign money power to break up this cooperative. Their thinking is that honest folks, meaning non-sociopaths, should not be able to have access to such financial power.

As shown in this article Brazil JBS buys U.S., Australian firms for $1.3 bln, this is part of "JBS globalization strategy". Globalization simply means plantationizing every company they can take over. Here's how big they have become, with financial help, of course:

[From US Premium Beef]
JBS operates 23 plants in Brazil and six in Argentina, in addition to its operations in Australia and the United States resulting from the purchase of Swift and Co. last year. For the year that ended Sept. 30, JBS had pro forma revenue of $11.9 billion and processed 9 million head of cattle.
Even area Congressmen have reservations about this, as written about in the article Mixed Views On JBS's Purchase Of US Beef Operations. However, it's hard to determine if our representatives have already sold out, so it might be best to presume that they have. It looks like the good ol' United States is being sold piece by piece, which I guess means that:
Sometimes The Dragon Wins

Symbol Name Of Corporation

Tyson Foods Inc. (As of 30-Jun-2007) (As of 30-Jun-2006)
Top 10 Institutional HoldersShares2007Value2006
Goldman Sachs Group Inc34,848,1189.75%$802,900,638-.--%
FMR Corporation (Fidelity Management & Research Corp)34,416,0329.63%$792,945,377-.--%
Wellington Management Company, LLP22,626,8446.33%$521,322,485-.--%
NWQ Investment Management Company, LLC16,740,5484.69%$385,702,225-.--%
Tradewinds Global Investors, LLC12,133,0723.40%$279,545,978-.--%
Vanguard Group, Inc. (The)9,402,3782.63%$216,630,789-.--%
Barclays Global Investors UK Holdings Ltd8,922,2582.50%$205,568,824-.--%
State Street Corporation6,656,6161.86%$153,368,432-.--%
Analytic Investors Inc./CA6,114,2801.71%$140,873,011-.--%
Seligman J.W. & Co Incorporated5,578,9751.56%$99,584,703-.--%
% of Shares Held by All Insider and 5% Owners:2%-.--%
Top 10 [4.4%] of 227 Institutional Holders Control44.06%-.--%
Percentage of Barclays and "Associates" Control22.2%-.--%
NOTE: Fidelity manages five funds that control 5.33%.
Therefore, the TOP 10 control 49.39% of Tyson Foods.

Brands: Bonici, Chairman’s Reserve, Cobb, Colonial, Joseph Copperfield’s & Sons, Corn King,
Delightful Farms, Deli Slices, Doskocil, Hot Wings, IBP, Jac Pac Foods, Jefferson Meats, Jordan’s,
Lady Aster, Mexican Original, Our American Favorite, Pizza Topper, Pizzano, Reuben, Russer,
Star Ranch Angus Beef, Star Ranch Natural Angus Beef, TastyBird, Thorn Apple Valley, Tyson, Weaver,
Wilson, Wilson Foodservice, Wright, Wunderbar.
Major Product Areas: Beef, pork, poultry, frozen and prepared foods.

© 2008 by Edward Ulysses Cate
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