The Global Super-Entity Ownership ties among transnational corporations show a cluster of 147 companies can exert enormous power over global corporate networks. Most are financial institutions. S. Vitali, J.B. Glattfelder, and S. Battiston
A small, tightly woven network of companies, mostly banks, wields disproportionate control over the global economy, according to a new study. To the thousands of protesters swept up in the global Occupy movement, it may seem like a case of science confirming the obvious. It’s based on a few extrapolations and assumptions that are open to debate, but the overall findings shed some light on the intimate ways 21st century capitalism works — and how those functions can undermine the entire system.
A trio of systems theorists at ETH Zurich examined the world’s 43,060 transnational corporations and studied their share ownerships, searching for commonalities that tie the companies together. They worked with techniques used to study complex systems in nature to construct a model of which companies controlled which other companies, and through which networks.