The Great American Yard Sale

Beer to buildings, airports to biotech: foreigners are buying U.S. assets on the cheap. It matters more than you think

Jeff Roberson / AP

Belgian-Brazilian InBev will soon own the all-American brewer of Budweiser.

When Belgian-based, Brazilian-controlled InBev launched a hostile offer for American beer king Anheuser-Busch last month, xenophobia quickly foamed to the top. Beer drinkers in St. Louis, Mo.--A-B's home--vowed to swear off Bud if those foreigners bought "our" beer.

They'll get over it. A-B's shareholders sure did, considering the $52 billion price tag, which at $70 a share was a 27% premium for a stock that had gone flat. The ruling Busch family ultimately faced up to the fact that the U.S. is for sale, and foreigners are buying. It's everything from the St.-Tropez crowd buying up condos in Palm Beach, Fla.,...

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