The idea that the few command over the many is not new: a team of Swiss mathematicians has given a precise face and name to this 'master group' of corporations which, alone, controls 80% of the world economy.
The global domain theory? Study, not conspiracy
The group, from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, in Zurich (composed among others by Stefania Vitali and Stefano Battiston) has used an analysis method often used to measure the connections between websites: its name is "Bow model- tie ”('papillon model' could be translated) and consists in inserting the names of large companies on the parts of a pattern in the shape of a bow tie. The companies linked together are on the bow tie knot: the others are arranged on the 'outer wings'.
So far completely normal: it is the comparison of the results obtained in this way (shown in a truly summary way) with the world ranking of the companies that has produced amazing results.
Power is in the hands of less than 1% of companies
The team discovered a group of 1318 companies (in most financial services companies, incidentally) with an average of 20 connections each with as many others: these companies represent only 0.7% of the total, and 18.7% of the profit made by the company. all companies. If you add this factor to 59.8% of the profit made by the 'subsidiaries' of these companies, it turns out that 80% of the global economy is controlled by a very small elite.
In detail, there is an even more surprising figure: 147 companies, 0.3% of the total, control more than 40% of the economic value of the others.
The real danger is not a 'global conspiracy', but the huge conflict of interest.
There are those who fear a world conspiracy to control us, a terrible and impossible hypothesis to be credited: however this would not be the worst possible scenario. A world actually controlled by 1% of the total is too much at risk of instability, and many signs are already coming. The "too big to collapse" theory often applied to large multinationals has no value in such cases.
The danger, in other words, is given by the excessive conflicting interests that these 'economic monads' develop: interests that are intertwined between economics and politics, making it difficult for a country to adopt economic measures aimed at elimination (for example) of monopoly privileges, or of essential causes that prevent sustainability and free markets.
To overcome the economic crisis it is necessary to understand the scenario in which we find ourselves: control mechanisms on these enormous links between corporations can only work if they are applied without borders, in a transnational way. I don't know when it will arrive, but the solution could be that of a world government of the economy, which establishes rules valid for all and calms the markets, working to increase their stability.
In any case, for the curious, here is (extrapolated from the Swiss study) the list of the top 50 world corporations: within it, someone will already recognize some 'naughty' who have attacked the planet's economy.
- Barclays (UK)
- Capital Group co. (USA)
- Fmr Corp. (USA)
- Axa (FRA)
- SSC (USA)
- JPMorgan Chase (USA)
- Legal & General Group (UK)
- The Vanguard Group inc. (USA)
- UBS (SVI)
- Merrill Lynch (USA)
- Wellington Management (USA)
- Deutsche Bank (GER)
- Franklin Resources inc. (USA)
- Credit Suisse (SVI)
- Walton Enterprises (USA)
- Bank of New York Mellon corp. (USA)
- Natixis (FRA)
- Goldman Sachs (USA)
- Rowe Price Group inc. (USA)
- Legg Mason inc. (USA)
- Morgan Stanley (USA)
- Mitsubishi Financial Group (GIA)
- Northern Trust corp. (USA)
- Societe Generale (FRA)
- Bank of America (USA)
- Lloyds Group (UK)
- Invesco (UK)
- Allianz (GER)
- TIAA (USA)
- Old Mutual Public LTD.CO. (UK)
- Aviva (UK)
- Schroders (UK)
- Dodge & Cox (USA)
- Lehman Brothers (USA)
- Sun Life financial (CAY)
- Standard Life (UK)
- CNCE (FRA)
- Nomura Holdings (GIA)
- Depository Trust co. (USA)
- Massachusetts Mutual Life ins. (USA)
- ING Group (OLA)
- Brandes Investment Partners (USA)
- Unicredito Italiano spa (ITA)
- Deposit Insurance co. of Japan (GIA)
- Vereniging Aegon (OLA)
- BNP Paribas (FRA)
- Affiliated Managers Group inc. (USA)
- Resona Holdings (GIA)
- Capital International inc. (USA)
- China Petrochemical Group (CIN)
* Here is the complete study (in English): Download the PDF