Beyond Bad

October 23, 2011

Another brick in the wall: In the midst of a seemingly worldwide occupation-movement, science may have confirmed the protesters’ worst fears.

Reportedly, about 147 super-connected corporations — out of 43,000 studied in recent research — carry disproportionate power over the global economy.
This from NewScientist on research by a trio of complex systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich into transnational corporations — TNCs — that’s good, but disheartening:

“Reality is so complex, we must move away from dogma, whether it’s conspiracy theories or free-market,” says James Glattfelder.
“Our analysis is reality-based.”

Greed always gathers the nefarious.

(illustration found here).

Also from the NewScientist piece on the study’s findings (h/t: War in Context):

The work, to be published in PloS One, revealed a core of 1318 companies with interlocking ownerships.
Each of the 1318 had ties to two or more other companies, and on average they were connected to 20.
What’s more, although they represented 20 per cent of global operating revenues, the 1318 appeared to collectively own through their shares the majority of the world’s large blue chip and manufacturing firms – the “real” economy – representing a further 60 per cent of global revenues.
When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a “super-entity” of 147 even more tightly knit companies — all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity — that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network.
“In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network,” says Glattfelder.
Most were financial institutions.
The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group.

Why does this shit sound so freakin’ familiar.

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