Monday, March 13, 2006


Pennisular & Oriental Steamships is the company that is being taken over by the UAE Kingdom of Dubai.

DP World, a ports company owned by the Maktoum family that rules Dubai, one of the seven sheikdoms in the United Arab Emirates, was forced to sell the U.S. port operations of Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation in the face of congressional opposition.

The irony behind all the sturm and drang in the USSA over this is that this is simply a transfer of a royal charter between royality. Who said the aritstocracy was dead. It simply has been transformed into Ruling Class Families.
Clintons are on both sides of Dubai deal

P&O Royal Charter

P&O - The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company - is one of the world's foremost developers and operators of container ports. We are also the leading ferry operator in the UK and have property interests in the US and Europe.

P&O was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1840. The Charters and Regulations of the Company are set out below.

P&O Royal Charter (PDF format, 242 KB)

The other irony is that P&O replaces the B&O line in the international version of the game of Monopoly!

What few people have pointed out is that in the international edition of Monopoly, when you buy P&O, you get India for free

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And while folks in the USSA are all upset about Arabs owning P&O it got its start under British Imperialism as the Royal Steamship line in charge of transportation in Egypt.

It was consulted on the extension of similar mail services into the Mediterranean. In 1840, it received a contract for a monthly run to Alexandria, and to raise the 1 million pounds needed it became a limited liability company: The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company was incorporated by a Royal Charter on 31 December 1840, and remains to this day one of the few British companies not operating under the Companies Act.

Oriental Extension
Larger ships were acquired for the Egyptian run, still larger ones - all of 2,000 tons - built to brave monsoon weather on the Calcutta/Suez line opened in 1843. By 1845 P&O services reached Singapore and Hong Kong and in 1852 extended to Sydney. The company's three great imperial mail routes - India, the Far East and Australia - had been established in less than a decade.

Evolving from being the monopoly steamship line for British Imperialism, in the 21st Century P&O transformed itself into a Global Monopoly, it is the foremost and leading promoter of privatization of Ports and container transportation.

The completion of the Suez Canal in 1869 brought with it a variety of competitors for P&O's virtual monopoly on long distance steamer service to the Far East. To remain competitive the company cut overhead including "abolishing free liquor at meals." In the early 20th century the firm acquired more than a dozen shipping companies; during the World Wars its ships transported troops and supplies in support of the war efforts.

The company reorganized in 1971, and during the 80s converted nearly all its dry cargo operations to container shipping. It was during this period that it turned its attention to "the necessary on-shore infrastructure of container ports, inland depots, and road, rail and inland waterway transport links." P & O also briefly expanded into oil exploration in the North Sea and US, and into housing construction and industrial services. By 1999 "[t]hese interests, no longer needed to support the Group's core businesses, had largely been sold."

P&O Ports, the P&O Group company responsible for port development, investment, operating and stevedoring activities, began as an Australian terminal operating entity, and expanded internationally in 1986 with the privatization of the Port Kelang container terminal in Malaysia. The P&O Ports web site notes "This was one of the first privatizations of public port assets undertaken worldwide and its great success resulted in it becoming an international model. "

Monopoly, the old Mercantilist power relationship between the aritsocracy and its capitalists is again being played out on the global stage, with America playing the role of protectionist Empire as Britain once did. Another irony.
Is globalisation facing threat of a collapse?

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