An article I found in the Swedish Magazine Dagens Etc. Translated with Google Translate.
Source: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
147 companies control everything
Thursday, February 2, 2012 - 23:00
How intertwined are the world's most powerful companies? How much do they really control? The frightening answer given in a single image.
When unions and parties on the left 100 years ago would scare each other and their members so they took sometimes the image of the huge new incumbents who ruled over politics and economics. Pictures of men with a round hat and a cigar in his mouth became the symbol of the real anonymous power behind it all. The octopus symbolized the major companies engaged in different countries. The image disappeared with increasing decades. Instead, they talked about the state and capital as equal forces which democracy ruled the former and economic rationalism that later.
The image of the companies as monopolies and cartels with a huge own power disappeared. But new research shows that the picture was probably more true and less naive than we thought. Today, when all Europe's policy is redirected in a direction where a financial market wants it, it's time to investigate corporate ownership and power again. And the result is more frightening than all the propaganda images. The picture looks like a work of art but is a model of the world's largest companies. The larger the dot, the larger companies. The interesting thing is the wires between the dots. The world's major companies namely hangs together.
There are no competing interests that control the world, but everything is a single giant network of joint boards, joint ownership and common interests. The major companies are simply a number of very small but the power of big special interests. 147 companies found to be the largest concentration of power we have. They control the world. But their actions are not governed by the policies or opinions openly discussed. It is controlled by a constant search for greater profits, and the continual defense of the power and the ownership they already have. If we add together the big companies we have the image of a single creature, a kind of entity. It shows how wrong it is to believe that there is a functioning market or even a competition. It's empty words in a world where few own all in company together.
The picture comes from a study developed by a Swiss research team led by S.Vitali at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. It is not a political but a statistical survey. Researchers have looked at the 43 000 largest multinational companies in the world. Then we investigated how the ownership is. The companies that own and have control over others have been separated from the companies that are partners but lack control over others. Subsequently, the controlling companies' joint ownership has been established. More and more there grew a picture that shows that fewer and fewer large companies actually control most of the time. Just over 1 300 large companies found to be nearly 80 percent of the multinational economy. This means that the most powerful forces of ownership fits in a standard auditorium in a Swedish primary school. However, the study does not end there.
A special "super group" of 147 firms - 0.3 percent of the entire multinational enterprise - was found to control over 40 percent of sales among all companies, that is, a small group of 147 companies which are also strongly linked to each other in a network of ownership, control, in practice the power of companies and markets. And the only control available on these carriers is a control that they exert themselves through shared ownership. This is a picture of world capitalism as a small joint ownership effect. The point is that the very largest companies, those with the most integrated ownership between companies spheres are ... banks. Which means that any discussion of banks as something that "must be saved" more a case of banks have unlimited resources from their states as they actually are capitalism's true core.
147 boardroom with tight links between them. 20 of the most powerful companies are banks. Suddenly you understand why each bank rescued as quickly as possible, be returned to the private owners. Bourgeois media likes to write about the special interests. If unions raise wages, it is selfishness and interest that prevails. But the real särintresset, the small group that actually owns the world, are never part of the story and never suffer any accusations about how the common benefit of their own power. Though it is perhaps those who constitute the real threat to all democracy.
The companies that control most: • Barclays Plc (GB)• The Capital Group Companies Inc (U.S.) • FMR Corp. (U.S.) • AXA (FR) • State Street Corporation (U.S.) • JPMorgan Chase & Co..(U.S.) • Legal & General Group Plc (GB) • The Vanguard Group, Inc. (U.S.) • UBS AG (CH) • Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. (U.S.) • Wellington Management Co.. LLP (U.S.) • Deutsche Bank AG (DE) • Franklin Resources, Inc. (U.S.) • Credit Suisse Group (CH)• Walton Enterprises LLC (U.S.) • Bank of New York Mellon Corp.. (U.S.) • Natixis (FR) • The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (U.S.) • T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. (U.S.) • Legg Mason, Inc. (U.S.) • Morgan Stanley (U.S.) • Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (JP) • Northern Trust Corporation (U.S.) • Societe Generale (FR) • Bank of America Corporation (U.S.) • Lloyd TSB Group PLC (GB) • Investo PLC (GB) • Allianz SE (DE) • TIAA (U.S.) • Old Mutual Public Limited Company (GB) • AVIVA PLC (GB) • Schroders PLC (GB) • Dodge & Cox (U.S.)• Sun Life Financial, Inc. (CA) • Standard Life PLC (GB) • CNCE (FR) • Nomura Holdings, Inc. (JP)• Ing Groep NV (NL) • Uncredito Italiano SPA (IT)• Vereniging Aegon (NL) • BNP Paribas (FR) • tthe Depostory Trust Company (U.S.) • Massachusetts Mutual Life Insur. (U.S.) • Brandes Investment Partners, LP (U.S.) • Deposit Insurance Corporation of JP (JP) • Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. (U.S.) • resonator Holdings, Inc. (JP) • Capital Group International, Inc. (U.S.) • China Petrochemical Group Co.. (CN) Source: Global Network of Corporate Control