It confirms the worst anti-corporate suspicions: 147 companies control the world, according to an analysis by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich called The network of global corporate control. They look at the share ownership structures that link 43,060 transnational companies and created a map showing that a control is concentrated in a quite small number of companies. As they say,
A large portion of control flows to a small tightly-knit core of financial institutions. This core can be seen as an economic “super-entity” that raises new important issues both for researchers and policy makers.
The New Scientist covers this story, pointing out that, in effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies are able to control 40 per cent of the entire network – mostly financial institutions like Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs.
Of course this doesn’t automatically imply a shadowy global conspiracy – but it doesn’t automatically imply openness and accountability either; and it certainly does suggest a consolidation of vested interests. Basically it’s great grist for the anti-corporate movement.
It’s a theme I picked up in a workshop last week – we got this short film made to show some of the great corporate anti-heroes from Hollywood (see my earlier post, Bad Guys Inc). Here it is – made for internal consumption only, but just for fun:
The above image comes from the New Scientist article, which comes with the following legend: The 1318 transnational corporations that form the core of the economy. Superconnected companies are red, very connected companies are yellow. The size of the dot represents revenue.
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