Thank you for confirming what, intuitively and through events, we already knew: there are a small group of companies - primarily banks - that control most all of the power and wealth in the global economy. Conspiracists unite - according to network analysis, you were right all along. The data support your theory.
They call themselves econophysicists, "applying theories and methods originally developed by physicists in order to solve problems in economics." They have gone beyond basic graphing of typical wealth and income to analyze the economic power and control data. The results are startling: the idea of ownership and control being distributed over many people is misleading at best and nonsense at worst. Control of corporations and financial markets are highly concentrated in the hands of a few.
In their previous study, dubbed Backbone of complex networks of corporations: The flow of control, they identified the top 10 global powerbrokers as:
- The Capital Group Companies
- Fidelity Management & Research
- Barclays PLC
- Franklin Resources
- JPMorgan Chase & Co
- Dimensional Fund Advisors
- Merrill Lynch & Co
- Wellington Management Company
In their analysis using a fundamentally different data set, the econophysicists pulled the data of all 43,000 transnational corporations from a database of 37 million companies and investors worldwide and modeled the structure of control and economic power:
We find that transnational corporations form a giant bow-tie structure and that 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.
According to their analysis, "nearly 4/10 of the control over the economic value of TNCs in the world is held, via a complicated web of ownership relations, by a group of 147 TNCs in the core, which has almost full control over itself." In other words, less than 1% of all transnational corporations control about 40% of the corporate network's and, thus, the global economy's wealth. And, funny enough, most of them are banks.
There are some who have identified what they consider flaws, making criticisms that this is a "garbage-in, garbage out analysis." Unfortunately, assertions are all they offer. They haven't shown, with data, any fundamental flaws or how the results are different if the purported flaws are addressed.
Does it make you uncomfortable to know that a few, very powerful companies control the world's financial markets? How important is it to your day-to-day lives that the sphere of influence is held in the hands of relatively few?
The top 50 control-holders: