The Fortune 100 Corporations and the Awesome Power They Have

The Fortune 100 list of companies comprises of the top 100 corporations in the world in terms of size, revenues, and market capitalization. The list that is published annually gives a peek into the top corporations that run the global economy. Indeed, many commentators have stated that the top 10 corporations in the world are more powerful than many sovereign nations and their governments. This goes on to show how the global economy has produced business leaders and CEO’s who wield more power than the prime ministers and presidents of many countries. Of course, this does not mean that only corporate leaders call the shots, as there are others in the global economy like think tanks, ideators, and political personalities who are powerful. Just that the phenomenon of businesspersons being so incredibly powerful has become a characteristic of the times we live in.

Added to this is the fact that the top 20 corporations in the world control the global economy as can be seen from the patterns of holding and ownership that permeate the companies in the world.

Research and studies by Swiss researchers has shown that the top 20 companies in the world control the patterns of holding and ownership of virtually all the companies in the world. This is done through investment funds, front companies, private equity, and equity holdings in almost all the major companies of the world. These companies in turn, invest in the next tiers of companies leading to a matrix structure of ownership that ultimately ends at the top of the Fortune 100 heap. Hence, the title of this article about the awesome power that the top corporations have in the global economy.

The connection to international business is that these top corporations can dictate the speed and pace of globalization and hence entrepreneurs can well pay heed to the signals emanating from these corporations about the direction in which the global economy is headed. The implications for world control are also there as the top corporations can dictate the policies and the rules that nations and governments follow. Of course, with regards to corporate social responsibility, the top corporations have the power to influence the social and environmental initiatives. What is unfortunate is that there seems to be no agreement among the top business leaders as to the steps that need to be taken to assuage the social and environmental concerns.

Finally, the top corporations also have a say in the monetary and fiscal policies that countries follow and they virtually set the terms that many countries’ central banks follow. This means that for good or worse, the world has to live with this fact. The surprise factor in recent times has been the addition of corporations from China and India to the list of the powerbrokers and the movers and the shakers in the world of business. Indeed, if anything this trend is bound to introduce an element of democratization in the structure of the global economy.


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