These 5 Big Companies Control the World’s Beer
These 5 Big Companies Control the World’s Beer
Explore the full-size version of the above graphic in all its glory.
The next time you hit your local pub, the odds are that the pint of beer you order will come from one of five global beer conglomerates.
Together, they own hundreds of the best-known domestic, import, and craft beer brands all over the world, in pretty much any country you can name. Whether you are seeking a smooth pilsner, a creamy stout, or an old-fashioned ale to whet your whistle, this multi-national beer oligopoly has got you covered.
The Big Five
Until recently, there were actually six big conglomerates: AB InBev, SAB Miller, MolsonCoors, Heineken, Diageo, and Carlsberg.
However, in mere weeks that will no longer be true. The world’s two largest beer companies – AB InBev and SAB Miller – are merging into one massive megabrewer. The deal, which is worth a hefty $107 billion, is expected to close by October 2016.
When it is all said and done, the merged company will have a brand portfolio that will be the envy of the industry: Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, Pilsner Urquell, Foster’s, Shock Top, Elysian, and Beck’s are just some of the flagship brands involved.
That will be after likely divesting several key brands such as Blue Moon and the entire Miller line of beers to appease antitrust regulators.
The Illusion of Choice
As we said previously when we posted the infographic showing the illusion of choice in consumer brands, we believe it is important for you to be aware of who is supplying the different brands and goods served at your dinner table.
Each dollar you spend is a vote – make sure it goes to a product and company that you believe in.
Which Countries Hold the Most U.S. Debt?
Foreign investors hold $7.3 trillion of the national U.S. debt. These holdings declined 6% in 2022 amid a strong U.S. dollar and rising rates.
Which Countries Hold the Most U.S. Debt in 2022?
Today, America owes foreign investors of its national debt $7.3 trillion.
These are in the form of Treasury securities, some of the most liquid assets worldwide. Central banks use them for foreign exchange reserves and private investors flock to them during flights to safety thanks to their perceived low default risk.
Beyond these reasons, foreign investors may buy Treasuries as a store of value. They are often used as collateral during certain international trade transactions, or countries can use them to help manage exchange rate policy. For example, countries may buy Treasuries to protect their currency’s exchange rate from speculation.
In the above graphic, we show the foreign holders of the U.S. national debt using data from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Top Foreign Holders of U.S. Debt
With $1.1 trillion in Treasury holdings, Japan is the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt.
Japan surpassed China as the top holder in 2019 as China shed over $250 billion, or 30% of its holdings in four years.
This bond offloading by China is the one way the country can manage the yuan’s exchange rate. This is because if it sells dollars, it can buy the yuan when the currency falls. At the same time, China doesn’t solely use the dollar to manage its currency—it now uses a basket of currencies.
Here are the countries that hold the most U.S. debt:
|Rank||Country||U.S. Treasury Holdings||Share of Total|
|3||🇬🇧 United Kingdom||$655B||8.9%|
|6||🇰🇾 Cayman Islands||$284B||3.9%|
|11||🇭🇰 Hong Kong||$221B||3.0%|
|16||🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia||$120B||1.6%|
|17||🇰🇷 South Korea||$103B||1.4%|
As the above table shows, the United Kingdom is the third highest holder, at over $655 billion in Treasuries. Across Europe, 13 countries are notable holders of these securities, the highest in any region, followed by Asia-Pacific at 11 different holders.
A handful of small nations own a surprising amount of U.S. debt. With a population of 70,000, the Cayman Islands own a towering amount of Treasury bonds to the tune of $284 billion. There are more hedge funds domiciled in the Cayman Islands per capita than any other nation worldwide.
In fact, the four smallest nations in the visualization above—Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Bahamas, and Luxembourg—have a combined population of just 1.2 million people, but own a staggering $741 billion in Treasuries.
Interest Rates and Treasury Market Dynamics
Over 2022, foreign demand for Treasuries sank 6% as higher interest rates and a strong U.S. dollar made owning these bonds less profitable.
This is because rising interest rates on U.S. debt makes the present value of their future income payments lower. Meanwhile, their prices also fall.
As the chart below shows, this drop in demand is a sharp reversal from 2018-2020, when demand jumped as interest rates hovered at historic lows. A similar trend took place in the decade after the 2008-09 financial crisis when U.S. debt holdings effectively tripled from $2 to $6 trillion.
Driving this trend was China’s rapid purchase of Treasuries, which ballooned from $100 billion in 2002 to a peak of $1.3 trillion in 2013. As the country’s exports and output expanded, it sold yuan and bought dollars to help alleviate exchange rate pressure on its currency.
Fast-forward to today, and global interest-rate uncertainty—which in turn can impact national currency valuations and therefore demand for Treasuries—continues to be a factor impacting the future direction of foreign U.S. debt holdings.
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