The structure of the control network of transnational corporations affects global market competition and financial stability. So far, only small national samples were studied and there was no appropriate methodology to assess control globally. A recent Cornell University study presents the first investigation of the architecture of the international ownership network, along with the computation of the control held by each global player. They found that transnational corporations form a giant bow-tie structure and that a large portion of control flows to a small tightly-knit core of financial institutions.
“a bank’s ability to block payments to a legal entity raises a troubling prospect. A handful of big banks could potentially bar any organization they disliked from the payments system, essentially cutting them off from the world economy….
The fact of the matter is that banks are not like any other business. They run the payments system. That is one of the main reasons that governments protect them from failure with explicit and implicit guarantees…
What would happen if a clutch of big banks decided that a particularly irksome blogger or other organization was “too risky”? What if they decided — one by one — to shut down financial access to a newspaper that was about to reveal irksome truths about their operations? This decision should not be left solely up to business-as-usual among the banks.”
In 2049, when the 100th anniversary of the publication of George Orwell political novel “1984” will be celebrated, it will be recalled that the immediate post September 11, 2001 period marked the beginning of a gradual decline in personal liberty and freedom, especially in the United States but also elsewhere, and the emergence of a great information-obsessed Leviathan. Freedom rarely disappears in one fell swoop. Its disappearance is rather the end result of a thousand encroachments.
Pushed to the extreme and without clear democratic oversight, it becomes the mark of a totalitarian state, when authorities feel that they never have enough information on the people. It is because information is power and state bureaucrats and politicians naturally like to be in control; on the one hand, releasing as little information about their own actions through an imposed secrecy, and on the other, accumulating as much information as possible about the citizens.
And today, modern governments have all the tools to transform their country into a creeping police state, more so now then ever before, in this electronic age. They have access to information technology that previous full-fledged “police state” governments could only have dreamed about….
In the United States today, the rift between reality and reporting has reached its end. There is no longer a mere credibility gap, but rather a literal Truth Emergency. Americans cannot access the truth about the issues that most impact their lives by relying on the mainstream corporate media….
The corporate media in the US like to think of themselves as the most accurate news reporting source of the day. The New York Times motto of “all the news that’s fit to print” is a clear example of this perspective, as is CNN’s “most trusted name in news” and Fox News Channel’s “We Report, You Decide” or “Fair and Balanced.” However, with corporate media coverage that increasingly focuses on a narrow range of celebrity updates, news from “official” government sources, and sensationalized crimes and disasters, the self-justification of being the most fit is no longer valid in the US….
In 2006 only 118 people comprise the membership on the boards of director(s) of the ten big media giants. These 118 individuals in turn sit on the corporate boards of 288 national and international corporations, including major defense contractors….
For the first time in history of telecommunications law the FCC has given its stamp of approval to online discrimination.
Instead of a rule to protect Internet users’ freedom to choose, the Commission has opened the door for broadband payola – letting phone and cable companies charge steep tolls to favor the content and services of a select group of corporate partners, relegating everyone else to the cyber-equivalent of a winding dirt road….