Bankers rule the world. A new Swiss Federal Institute of Technologystudy says so. Written by Stefania Vitali, James Glattfelder andStefano Battiston, it's titled "The network of global corporatecontrol," saying:
"Wefind that transnational corporations from a giant bow-tie structure andthat a large portion of control flows to a small tightly-knit core offinancial institutions. This core can be seen as an economic'super-entity' that raises new important issues both for researches andpolicy makers."
Thestudy says 147 powerful companies control an inordinate amount ofeconomic activity - about 40%. Among the top 50, 45 are financialfirms. They include Barclays PLC (called most influential), JPMorganChase, UBS, and other familiar and less known names.
Twenty-fourcompanies are US-based, followed by eight in Britain, five in France,four in Japan, and Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands with twoeach. Canada has one.
Moreover, "top ranked" companies "hold a control ten times bigger than what could be expected based on their wealth."
As a result, they have enormous influence over political, financial, and economic activity.
In his book titled, "When Corporations Rule the World,"David Korten said they're able to transfer enormous amounts of power,wealth and resources from public to private hands with governmentcomplicity. Money power and concentrated wealth in few hands especiallyharm humanity.
"Theseforces have transformed" financial institutions and other corporatepredators "into instruments of a market tyranny that is extending itsreach across the planet like a cancer, colonizing ever more of theplanet's living spaces, destroying livelihoods, displacing people,rendering democratic institutions impotent, and feeding on life in aninsatiable quest for money" and profits as a be and end all.
Only bottom line priorities and market dominance matter, not human welfare, environmental sanity, peace, equity and justice.
Transnationalgiants are the dominant institution of our time - especially financialones with money power control of everything.
Theydecide who governs and how, who serves on courts, what laws areenacted, and whether or not wars are waged. Corporate dominance,especially financial power, and democratic values are incompatible.
Theyoperate ruthlessly as private tyrannies. They're predators. We're prey,and every day we're eaten alive. They do it because they can, and inAmerica by mandate.
Publiclyowned US corporations, including financial ones, must serveshareholders by maximizing equity value through higher profits. They doit by exploiting nations, people and resources ruthlessly.
Socialresponsibility doesn't matter. Neither does being worker-friendly, agood citizen, or friend of the earth. Bottom line priorities alonematter. Failure to pursue fiduciary responsibilities means possibledismissal or shareholder lawsuits.
Yetnothing in America's Constitution or statute laws endow corporationswith their rights. They usurped them by co-opting Washington, thenation's courts, state capitals, and city halls.
Asa result, over half the world's largest economies are corporations.Financial ones controlling the power of money are most dominant.
Corporatepersonhood enhanced their power, yet imagine. Although corporationsaren't human, they can live forever, change their identity, reside inmany places globally, can't be imprisoned for wrongdoing, and cantransform themselves into new entities for any reason.
Theyhave the same rights and protections as people without theresponsibilities. As a result, they operate freely unrestrained,especially financial giants controlling the power of money at thepublic's expense.
Beginningin the late 1960s, financialization grew more dominant. Economiccontrol began shifting from industry to finance. Corporations are nowseen as bundles of assets, the more liquid the better. A new monopolyfinance capitalism developed to exploit it.
FIREsector (finance, insurance, and real estate) predators capitalized.Casino capitalism gained prominence. Today it thrives. Major playerstook advantage, profiting hugely from speculation, chicanery and fraud.
Aburgeoning financial superstructure gained a life of its own. Todayit's omnipotent, especially in America and Europe. Their business modelinvolves grabbing everything that smells money, no matter what harm iscaused.
Moneydoesn't buy everything, but it buys enough influence to matter. Thesmartest guys in the room take advantage, buying politicians liketoothpaste. Democracy's just a figure of speech.
Onlywealth and power matter. Enough of them turned financial giants intomonsters. Whatever they want, they get, including the right to operatefreely outside the law, manipulate markets, bilk investors, strip-minenations and people for profit, and get bailed out at public expense ifoverreach.
UnderObama and European leaders, the worst of bad practices flourish. Foxesguard the henhouse. Inmates run the asylum. Regulators don't regulate.Investigations aren't conducted. High-level criminal fraud gets winkand nod approval. Nothing is done to curb it.
Nordo public considerations matter nor is sustained low inflationlong-term growth pursued as long as bankers get paid. Today, it's issueone in America and troubled Eurozone countries.
WallStreet dominance matters most in America. In Europe, "Troika" power isomnipotent - the IMF, EU and European Central Bank (ECB). Nationstrapped under euro straightjacket rules can't devalue their currenciesto be more competitive, monetize debt freely, or legislate fiscalpolicies to stimulate growth.
Instead,they're entrapped by banker diktats demanding tribute. In other words,financial coup d'etat authority runs sovereign governments. They occupythem rapaciously, making rules, setting terms, issuing demands, andpressuring, bribing or otherwise forcing political leaders toacquiesce. If not, they're replaced.
Workinghouseholds bear the burden through layoffs, wage and benefit cuts,higher taxes, and other austerity measures to assure bankers are paid.