Bellerbys Economics - Mr Stephenson

Thursday, April 27, 2006

World's Biggest Companies

51 of the biggest 100 economic entities in the world are companies - not nations. In fact, the nation state is rapidly becoming redundant. By the year 2100, it's quite likely that people won't describe themselves as British, Kazakh or Chinese - but instead we will say, I'm Microsoft or I'm Citigroup.

There's even an excellent satire - a novel - that looks at this idea called 'Jennifer Government' by Australian author, Max Barry - it's really very funny. In the book, people have begun taking on the name of the company they work for - so I would be Andrew Bellerbys, for example, and my sister might be Linda Plymouth Airport. This is not as ridiculous as it sounds - names, after all, were often used to show someone's profession in the past - like Butcher, Baker and so on. In the story, Jennifer is one of the few people who still works for the government and expects to be made redundant at any moment when the government is bought out by a chainstore. Sounds ridiculous until you realise that the UK government is actively pursuing a policy of allowing schools and hospitals to be run by businesses - it's a slippery slope.

Anyway, the world's biggest companies are:

1) General Electric
United States

2) Microsoft
United States

3) Pfizer
United States

4) ExxonMobil
United States

5) Wal-Mart Stores
United States

6) Citigroup
United States

7) Johnson & Johnson
United States

8) Royal Dutch/Shell Group
Netherlands

9) BP
United Kingdom

10) International Business Machines
United States

11) American International Group
United States

12) Vodafone
United Kingdom

13) Intel
United States

14) HSBC Group
United Kingdom

15) Merck
United States

16) Procter & Gamble
United States

17) GlaxoSmithKline
United Kingdom

18) Cisco Systems
United States

19) Coca-Cola
United States

20) Bank of America
United States

Notice how nearly all of the businesses are in theory American. They started life in America and have grown steadily over the last 100 years. They are in a very powerful position - it will be another 50 years before businesses in other countries are able to generate the same levels of market value as these long-established companies. However, a good question to ask is - just how loyal are these 'American' companies to America? Many of them now carry out most of their manufacturing, investment and business overseas. Many of their shareholders may also be from overseas - with only a small percentage of final profits being repatriated to the USA. These are truly multinational companies in a globalised world.

The three dominant themes are electronics, oil and chemicals/domestic drugs. These are the central industries around which the modern world turns.

1 Comments:

  • However, Citygroup is most profitable.... Quite surprising for me, as i thought Banks had smaller profit than, say, oil compaies...

    By Anonymous iliyas, at 10:41 pm  

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