Who Really Controls the World?

OutsiderClub  August 16 2013

The 1318 transnational corporations that form the core of the economy. Superconnected companies are red, very connected companies are yellow. The size of the dot represents revenue.

It’s the question that conspiracy theorists dedicate their life to answering…
Who really controls the world?

Who is pulling the strings?

Who is hiding behind the curtain?

These questions have long been subject to speculation, scapegoating, and paranoid ravings — some more well-founded than others.

Now, thanks to the science of complex system theory, the answer may actually be right in front of our faces.

This scientific process sheds light on the dark corners of bank control and international finance and pulls some of the major players out from the shadows.

And it goes back to the old credo: Just follow the money…

Systems theorist James B. Glattfelder did just that.

From a massive database of 37 million companies, Glattfelder pulled out the 43,060 transnational corporations (companies that operate in more than one country) that are all connected by their shareholders.

Digging further, he constructed a model that actually displays just how connected these companies are to one another through ownership of shares and their corresponding operating revenues.

I’ll openly admit that this graphic almost scared me off. Complex scientific theories are not my forte, and this looks like some sort of intergalactic snow globe.

But Glattfelder has done a remarkable job of boiling these connections down to the main actors — as well as pinpointing how much power they have over the global market. These “ownership networks” can reveal who the key players are, how they are organized, and exactly how interconnected these powers are.

From New Scientist:

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.

According to his data, Glattfelder found that the top 730 shareholders control a whopping 80% of the entire revenue of transnational corporations.

And — surprise, surprise! — they are mostly financial institutions in the United States and the United Kingdom.

That is a huge amount of concentrated control in a small number of hands…

Here are the top ten transnational companies that hold the most control over the global economy (and if you are one of the millions that are convinced Big Banks run the world, you should get a creeping sense of validation from this list):

1) Barclays plc

2) Capital Group Companies Inc.

3) FMR Corporation

4) AXA

5) State Street Corporation

6) JPMorgan Chase & Co.

7) Legal & General Group plc

8) Vanguard Group Inc.


10) Merrill Lynch & Co Inc.

Some of the other usual suspects round out the top 25, including JP Morgan, UBS, Credit Suisse, and Goldman Sachs.

What you won’t find are ExxonMobil, Microsoft, or General Electric, which I found shocking. In fact, you have to scroll all the way down to China Petrochemical Group Company at number 50 to find a company that actually creates something.

The top 49 corporations are financial institutions, banks, and insurance companies — with the exception of Wal-Mart, which ranks at number 15…

The rest essentially just push money around to one another.

Here’s the interconnectedness of the top players in this international scheme:

big bank complexity

Here’s a fun fact about the number one player, Barclays:

Barclays was a main player in the LIBOR manipualtion scandal, and were found to have commited fraud and collusion with other interconnected big banks. They were fined $200 million by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, $160 million by the United States Department of Justice and £59.5 million by the Financial Services Authority for “attempted manipulation” of the Libor and Euribor rates.

Despite their crimes, Barclays still paid $61,781,950 in bonuses earlier this year, including a whopping $27,371,750 to investment banking head Rich Ricci. And yes, that’s actually his real name…

These are the guys that run the world.

It’s essentially the “too big to fail” argument laid out in scientific setting — only instead of just the U.S. banks, we’re talking about an international cabal of banks and financial institutions so intertwined that they pose a serious threat to global economics.

And instead of “too big to fail,” we’re looking at “too connected to fail”…

Glattfelder contends that “a high degree of interconnectivity can be bad for stability, because stress can spread through the system like an epidemic.”

Industrialist Henry Ford once quipped, “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and money system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

It’s one thing to have suspicions that someone is working behind the scenes to control the world’s money supply. It’s quite another to have scientific evidence that clearly supports it…

Just another reason to stay on the Outside.

Jimmy Mengel

Jimmy Mengel

Jimmy is a managing editor for Outsider Club and the Investment Director of the personal finance advisory The Crow’s Nest. You may also know him as the architect behind the wildly popular finance and investing website Wealth Wire, where he’s brought readers the stories behind the mainstream financial news each and every day. For more on Jimmy, check out his editor’s page.

2 thoughts on “Who Really Controls the World?

  1. phyl

    In brief -[The British East India Tea Company: the men who owned this company became fantastically rich beyond belief through their nefarious dealings with countries besides their own, brutal in getting their way in order to gain the fantastic wealth and possessions that they have. It is their off-springs who carry-on that tradition, and it is these off-springs who formed The Committee of 300 in order to possess and rape the rest of this planet and kill off anything that stands in its way. (They make the Rothschilds look like ‘pipsqueaks’)]

    Dr John Coleman – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UA51CAJTenM
    …Who and what is The Committee of 300? – They are a ‘Super National’ body that knows no boundaries, respect the laws of no countries, they are a committee of 300 men who rule the world they’re known only to each other and nothing happens without their consent.

    The Federal government – the ‘secret upper parallel government’ that runs the United States DOES NOT WANT YOU TO KNOW ! that you have an ‘upper parallel government’ that ‘calls-the-shots’, that dictates what is going to happen to your lives and mine. What are their goals?: their goals are a ‘One World Government’ that will be called the ‘New World Order’.

    The New World Order began with King George the 3rd, at the time when the colonists were brave enough to take him on. King George was already busy formulating a One World Government and he had lined up at least 50 countries that were willing to come into this future world dictatorship with him. The goal then very simply stated are to make the world over into a one world, new world order dictatorship controlled utterly and completely by this Committee of 300…

    1. phyl

      How can they possibly carry out their goals? They do it, by ‘dint and by the virtue’, of their fantastic wealth and the fact that they control thousands of the top banking institutions, the political organizations, insurance companies eg – they control the American giant – Metropolitan of New York (which is peanuts!) compared to the Assicurazioni Generali that’s the biggest insurance company in the world – everything that happens in the world in the insurance field comes from out of Venice, that’s why Venice is so important because in Venice we have the Black Nobility…

      So their goals are a one world dictatorship of the most brutal kind and how they carry it out as they have, is that they have these interfaced banks and insurance companies, mining conglomerates, every conceivable control in politics including the Democrat party of the United States, which is of course since 1980 behind ‘closed doors’ at the ‘secret quarters’ of Washington DC the Democrat hierarchy took on the goals of the old Socialist Party USA ie based upon communist manifesto of 1848. In this book – The Committee of 300 – lists everyone of their huge gigantic corporations how they interface and this is an eye-opener because it gets right down to the nitty-gritty of your everyday life in the cities and towns across United States.

      …also of course, they have built up some special organizations of their own… revealed the existence of the Royal Institute of International Affairs located at Chatham House in * James Square in London. Also revealed the existence of the Club of Rome …[25:00] listed all of these secret societies that run the world as executive arms of the Committee of 300.

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