Mergers and Aberrations America has much to offer the world, so the world is offering generous buyout terms. Who needs a flag when you can have a cool logo?
By Stanley Bing

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Savvy stock jockeys around the globe are exploring the implications of what's been taking place on the international merger front recently. Global firms are buying up American brand names like nobody's business, except now it's theirs. This is good news for those of us who can't wait for the eradication of the nation-state, as it has been known since the late Middle Ages, and the establishment of international governments run not by the vagaries of populist whim but by the rational workings of free enterprise.

It's hard to capitalize on transactions you don't know about, of course. So in our continuous effort to provide you with that superb level of informedness that differentiates you from the stupid readers of other business publications, here are some soon-to-be-announced deals that will shock and surprise others, but not you:

The winemakers of Beaujolais, which is in France, as you know, are forming a consortium to purchase the American purveyors of Ripple, the twist-top potable that goes with everything from Slim Jims to Cheez Whiz. Seeking to establish a line extension, they will market the new product in large retail establishments as Beaujolais Extremely Nouveau and target people who are.

The British Broadcasting Corp., flush with funds from the new, more marketable Labour U.K., will acquire 72% of the American Public Broadcasting System, replacing humdrum American fare with interminable mumbling dramas, funny men in dresses, and children's shows featuring treacly characters with televisions in their stomachs. Oh, wait a minute. That's happened already.

Smart analysts agree that it was only a matter of time before Britain's scarcity of tasty cuisine not immersed in bacon grease or heavy dough would force that country to look abroad for something decent to eat. Sure enough, Pearson PLC, fresh from its dynamic foray into American publishing, will engineer an elegant two-step. Pearson will acquire the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and with it the ultimate award in Western culture, the Oscar. On completing the transaction the company will purchase a controlling share in this nation's premium provider of franks and furters, forming the new global consortium Oscar/Meyer. A number of hungry young actors in Hollywood have already signed up to promote the brand; they will be known, for publicity purposes, as the Bratwurst Pack. We wish them well.

In what some will see as a shocking twist, Swiss Miss will acquire and enslave Poppin' Fresh, the Pillsbury senior official and spokes-doughboy, and have her way with him. Three operating quarters later, analysts expect something very hot to emerge from the oven, but nobody's quite sure what. Investors are advised to take a wait-and-see attitude.

Meanwhile, a large communications company with roots in Australia will acquire a number of key media outlets in Britain and the U.S., found an American television network, and add significant cable holdings in the near term. The transglobal nation-state will then purchase perhaps the most American of all assets, a baseball franchise, which will be operated to explore synergistic relationships with the Times of London. Oh, wait a minute. That happened already.

Giorgio Armani SpA will purchase Kmart and, as it promises in an internal memo leaked to this reporter, "bring Garibaldi Street to Main Street." Gone forever will be the wide-seat jeans, polyester pantsuits, and Sansabelt trousers that have marked middle-American fashion for the past several decades. The baby-boomer of tomorrow will have access to Eurogarb that says andiamo all the way to the Big Boy and back.

Aramco, the Saudi oil conglomerate, is rumored to be laboring away in the dead of night (West Coast time) to buy the U.S. interstate highway system. Aware of the political fallout that could result from this action, the new owners are implementing a $15 million ad campaign built on the theme "It's nobody's asphalt but your own."

A group of Third World investors is pooling resources to acquire the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals after we're done with them. Oh, wait a minute. That's happening already.

Others are even bolder. A team of industrialists from Denmark, for instance, has banded together to purchase IBM. In an interesting packaging concept, they will change the appellation of all that company's mainframe and desktop computers, referring to them henceforth as "danish." Some initial confusion may result, but the new consortium's advertising slogan, "Let them eat danish," promises to give Compaq and Dell a real run for their money.

Not to be outdone, Microsoft, frustrated and angered over the assaults by the Justice Department, will take perhaps the boldest move of all. Pleased at the relative friendliness of the European Community, which has decided to let the Redmond giant operate unfettered in its territory, the company will advance decisively to purchase the entire EC, changing the name of Europe to the United Gates of Greater Armenia. The new entity will then withdraw all Microsoft software from distribution in the United States, crippling our nation and throwing it back into the cybernetic stone age with no consumer-friendly operating system (i.e., one invented by IBM) and, consequently, really bad E-mail that doesn't allow for instant messaging.

Crazed with grief over this development, patriotic domestic interests, led by Ross Perot and Colin Powell, will immediately seize all foreign-held assets in the U.S., acquire the former Soviet Union in trade for stock in Smirnoff, merge that entity with the American military-industrial complex, and employ that gigantic force to invade Microsoft/EC territory with an eye towards seizing its capital city, Paris 99. The French respond with technology they acquired from Iraq.

These events kick off World War III, which is instantly renamed WW2K and acquired by Wal-Mart for its rebranding effort at the turn of the millennium, which, in spite of good core fundamentals, it clearly needs.

Oh. And did I mention that Mercedes bought Chrysler? What a bummer!

By day, STANLEY BING is a real executive at a real FORTUNE 500 company he'd rather not name.