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THE government is pressing ahead with plans to sell a string of state-owned organisations as part of a privatisation drive to add £35 billion to the dwindling public purse.
The chancellor, Alistair Darling, has appointed Rothschild to prepare the sale of the Royal Mint. Darling has also hired the Deloitte accountancy firm to explore a potential sale of the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in central London.
Bankers expect Ordnance Survey, Britain’s national mapping agency, to be the next asset to be groomed for privatisation. Some 10 state-owned companies are in the frame, including the Covent Garden Market Authority and the Met Office. The canal-side property of British Waterways could also go.
The Royal Mint has been responsible for the manufacture and supply of UK coins for more than 1,000 years. It is estimated to be worth about £100m and could attract interest from corporate buyers such as De La Rue.
The business — which moved from Tower Hill in east London in 1968 to a 35-acre site in Llantrisant, South Wales – made an operating profit of £10m in 2008 and issued 1.3 billion coins. It has 700 employees and round-the-clock protection from the Ministry of Defence Police.
The Royal Mint also makes coins and medals for 60 overseas territories including Egypt, Trinidad and Tobago, Macau and Rwanda, giving it 15% of the world market.
It is a give away, so question................... when will the U.S. take that step also?
Originally posted by infinite
Alas, we should change the country's name to the United Oligarch of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
According to The Times of London, "The government is pressing ahead with plans to sell a string of state-owned organizations as part of a privatization drive to add £35 billion to the dwindling public purse." Among the treasures being sold are the Royal Mint and the national mapping agency.
In almost every sense, it is a tragedy that the British government would have to part with such historically important assets. In another, it the strongest testimonial yet about how severe the deficit problems have become even in the wealthiest nations.
China holds more U.S. debt than any other entity either private or sovereign. Whether the communist government is really worried about the value of the U.S. paper it holds or is just making a public insult about the flaws in American capitalism may never be known. What is known is that the financial markets have enough concern about Treasuries now to support a market for insuring U.S. debt in the event that the government cannot meet its obligations in the future.
Fortunately, America has more to sell than the U.K. Yellowstone was established as a national park in 1982. It has more than 2.2 million acres of land, making it larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined. It is a logger's dream. International Paper recently announced that it would sell 143,000 acres of its land for $275 million. At that rate, Yellowstone should be worth over $4 billion. (Read a TIME story on Yellowstone.)
The National Park System manages bout 83 million acres. Not all of that land is worth as much as Yellowstone, but combining oil drilling, mining, logging, and tourism revenue, it would be conservative to say that the sale of all that land could cover 20% of the costs of the new stimulus package.
Selling the parks does not bring in enough capital to close the gap in a deficit that will be well over $1 trillion this year, so the list of items that the U.S. would have to sell or lease needs to be a great deal longer. It is not well-know that the Minerals Management Service of the Interior Department is the second largest source of income to the U.S. government.
The sum total of the value of all of the office buildings, monuments, military hardware, and laboratories that the federal government owns must stretch well into the hundreds of billions of dollars. What billionaire would not want to own the U.S. embassy in London?
A new history of the Royal Mint
The Treasury authorized the separation of the refinery buildings fron the Mint and offered to let them to Mathison so that he could run an entirely private business. This offer Mathison declined and notice was accordingly served on him of the termination of his contracts - the refinery being subsequently let to Rothschild who saw the advantage in using the name "Royal Mint Refinery".