Friday, 28 November 2008

Profiteering Whitbread

I'm knackered. It's the end of the working week and I'm tired. So not much of a post today. Just me bullshitting a bit.

I wish I'd never started looking at Whitbread's costings. They've consumed most of my free time this week. My kids have started asking Dolores "Who's that bloke hogging the computer?"

That's the thing about old documents. There's so much in them. I try to not get trapped in the details. But I do. Very easily distracted, I am. Not much progress on the book this week. But what insights into WW I finances. You have to balance these things out.

Profiteering. The brewers were accused of bumping up their profits in WW I. What bastards. And you know, I think it could well be true. Based on what I've learned from the Whitbread records. In 1917 they whacked up their profit on a barrel of beer totally out of line with their costs. I repeat: the bastards.

In the brewers' defence, the government had restricted beer production to about a third of its 1914 level. In terms of standard barrels. That's not the same as bulk barrels. (If you need an explanation of bulk barrels and standard barrels, look here.)

That's it for today. I'll return to boring you with statistics tomorrow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

But how did they get away with it? It's not as if they were the only brewery in the country. There must be more to this Ron and we expect you to find it for us.