Network of Global Corporate Control

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* Article: The Network of Global Corporate Control by Vitali et. al.



"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. We present the first investigation of the architecture of the international ownership network, along with the computation of the control held by each global player. We find 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.

This core can be seen as an economic “super-entity” that raises new important issues both for researchers and policy makers."


"This paper finds, through extensive network analysis, that a small group of tightly intertwined financial institutions control the bow of the global financial system. It is in effect, the world's first super-organism. 147 trans-national companies that the global core that is owned by itself (3/4 of the ownership of firm's in this organism are owned by firms in the organism). This organism is beyond governments. If it is self serving (and this shouldn't be too hard to assume), it is the equivalent of a biological cancer that has metastasized." (


excerpt of pdf

"… nearly 4/10 of the control over the economic value of transnational corporations in the world is held, via a complicated web of ownership relations, by a group of 147 transnational corporations in the core, which has almost full control over itself. The top holders within the core can thus be thought of as an economic “super-entity” in the global network of corporations. A relevant additional fact at this point is that 3/4 of the core are financial intermediaries." (