Transnational corporations are wreaking havoc on financial, economic, social and ecological systems in a creeping colonisation of public life where just 147 organisations now controls 40 per cent of global trade.
A study in 2000 by Corporate Watch, Global Policy Forum and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) revealed some alarming facts about a rising corporatocracy that should have been brought to heel by western government’s years ago. Instead, corporations are now literally at the helm.
At the turn of the millennia this study confirmed that whilst there were around 40,000 worldwide corporations, just 200 had true global reach and influence. These colossal organisations, many larger than national economies controlled well over one quarter of global economic activity whilst 80 per cent of the world’s population were either left out completely, marginalised or were net losers as a direct result of their activities.
The decade long IPS study made for very uncomfortable reading. The most alarming amongst a long list of culpability is that as corporate profits soared – wealth concentration followed, and it did so in an environment of stagnating workers wages.
For perspective, the report highlighted that of the 100 largest economies in the world, 51 were corporations; only 49 were countries. Wal-Mart for example, was bigger than 161 countries. Mitsubishi was larger than the fourth most populous nation on earth: Indonesia. General Motors was bigger than Denmark. Ford was bigger than South Africa.