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Wed Sep 18, 2013, 08:20 AM

Exposing the Financial Core of the Transnational Capitalist Class

This cartoon, I believe, is 101 years old:

What follows is an analysis of what's new since then that should be of interest to Democrats and those who believe in democracy.

The Following is a Chapter from the Newest Book Project Censored 2014: Fearless Speech in Fateful Times

Exposing the Financial Core of the Transnational Capitalist Class

By Peter Phillips and Brady Osborne


In this study, we decided to identify in detail the people on the boards of directors of the top ten asset management firms and the top ten most centralized corporations in the world. Because of overlaps, there is a total of thirteen firms, which collectively have 161 directors on their boards. We think that this group of 161 individuals represents the financial core of the world’s transnational capitalist class. They collectively manage $23.91 trillion in funds and operate in nearly every country in the world. They are the center of the financial capital that powers the global economic system. Western governments and international policy bodies work in the interests of this financial core to protect the free flow of capital investment anywhere in the world.

A Brief History of Research on the
American Power Elite

A long tradition of sociological research documents the existence of a dominant ruling class in the United States, whose members set policy and determine national political priorities. The American ruling class is complex and competitive, and perpetuates itself through interacting families of high social standing with similar lifestyles, corporate affiliations, and memberships in elite social clubs and private schools.1


The Transnational Capitalist Class

Capitalist power elites exist around the world. The globalization of trade and capital brings the world’s elites into increasingly interconnected relationships—to the point that sociologists have begun to theorize the development of a transnational capitalist class (TCC). In one of the pathbreaking works in this field, The Transnational Capitalist Class (2000), Leslie Sklair argued that globalization elevated transnational corporations (TNC) to more influential international roles, with the result that nation-states became less significant than international agreements developed through the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other international institutions.8 Emerging from these multinational corporations was a transnational capitalist class, whose loyalties and interests, while still rooted in their corporations, was increasingly international in scope. Sklair wrote:

The transnational capitalist class can be analytically divided into four main fractions: (i) owners and controllers of TNCs and their local affiliates; (ii) globalizing bureaucrats and politicians; (iii) globalizing professionals; (iv) consumerist elites (merchants and media). . . . It is also important to note, of course, that the TCC and each of its fractions are not always entirely united on every issue. Nevertheless, together, leading personnel in these groups constitute a global power elite, dominant class or inner circle in the sense that these terms have been used to characterize the dominant class structures of specific countries.9

William Robinson followed in 2004 with his book, A Theory of Global Capitalism: Production, Class, and State in a Transnational World.10 Robinson claimed that 500 years of capitalism had led to a global epochal shift in which all human activity is transformed into capital. In this view, the world had become a single market, which privatized social relationships. He saw the TCC as increasingly sharing similar lifestyles, patterns of higher education, and consumption. The global circulation of capital is at the core of an international bourgeoisie, who operate in oligopolist clusters around the world. These clusters of elites form strategic transnational alliances through mergers and acquisitions with the goal of increased concentration of wealth and capital. The process creates a polyarchy of hegemonic elites. The concentration of wealth and power at this level tends to over-accumulate, leading to speculative investments and wars. The TCC makes efforts to correct and protect its interests through global organizations like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the G20, World Social Forum, Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg Group, Bank for International Settlements, and other transnational associations. Robinson claimed that, within this system, nation-states become little more than population containment zones, and the real power lies with the decision makers who control global capital.11

Deeper inside the transnational capitalist class is what David Rothkopf calls the “superclass.” In his 2008 book, Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making, Rothkopf argued that the superclass constitutes 6,000 to 7,000 people, or 0.0001 percent of the world’s population.12 They are the Davos-attending, Gulfstream/private jet–flying, money-incrusted, megacorporation-interlocked, policy-building elites of the world, people at the absolute peak of the global power pyramid. They are 94 percent male, predominantly white, and mostly from North America and Europe. Rothkopf reported that these are the people setting the agendas at the G8, G20, NATO, the World Bank, and the WTO. They are from the highest levels of finance capital, transnational corporations, the government, the military, the academy, nongovernmental organizations, spiritual leaders, and other shadow elites. (Shadow elites include, for instance, the deep politics of national security organizations in connection with international drug cartels, who extract 8,000 tons of opium from US war zones annually, then launder $500 billion through transnational banks, half of which are US-based.)13



It's way past time for The New New Deal.

18 replies, 7709 views

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Exposing the Financial Core of the Transnational Capitalist Class (Original post)
Octafish Sep 2013 OP
Zorra Sep 2013 #1
Octafish Sep 2013 #2
Octafish Sep 2013 #3
AtheistCrusader Sep 2013 #4
Octafish Sep 2013 #6
AtheistCrusader Sep 2013 #8
Octafish Sep 2013 #10
Octafish Sep 2013 #12
Divernan Sep 2013 #5
Octafish Sep 2013 #7
L0oniX Sep 2013 #9
Octafish Sep 2013 #11
woo me with science Sep 2013 #13
Octafish Sep 2013 #14
rhett o rick Sep 2013 #15
Octafish Sep 2013 #17
woo me with science Sep 2013 #16
Octafish Sep 2013 #18

Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Sep 18, 2013, 08:26 AM

1. Great toon! K&R nt

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Response to Zorra (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 18, 2013, 08:30 AM

2. Thanks! Here's Simpson's real teet.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Sep 18, 2013, 09:36 AM

3. Table 1: The World’s Top 35 Asset Management Firms, in Billions of Dollars (2012)

Last edited Wed Sep 18, 2013, 02:28 PM - Edit history (1)

1 BlackRock US $3,560

2 UBS Switzerland $2,280

3 Allianz Germany $2,213

4 Vanguard Group US $2,080

5 State Street Global Advisors (SSgA) US $1,908

6 PIMCO (Pacific Investment
Management Company) US $1,820

7 Fidelity Investments US $1,576

8 AXA Group France $1,393

9 JPMorgan Asset Management US $1,347

10 Credit Suisse Switzerland $1,279

11 BNY Mellon Asset Management US $1,299

12 HSBC UK $1,230

13 Deutsche Bank Germany $1,227

14 BNP Paribas France $1,106

15 Capital Research and Management
Company US $1,071

16 Prudential Financial US $961.0

17 Amundi France $880.0

18 Goldman Sachs Group US $836.0

19 Wellington Management Company US $719.8

20 Natixis Global Asset Management France $710.9

21 Franklin Resources (Franklin
Templeton Investments) US $707.1

22 Northern Trust US $704.3

23 Bank of America US $682.2

24 Invesco US $646.6

25 Legg Mason US $631.8

26 Nippon Life Insurance Company Japan $600.0

27 Legal & General Investment
Management UK $598.5

28 Generali Group Italy $581.5

29 Prudential UK $570.2

30 Ameriprise Financial US $543.6

31 T. Rowe Price US $541.7

32 Wells Fargo US $534.9

33 Manulife Financial Canada $513.8

34 Sun Life Financial Canada $496.3

35 TIAA-CREF US $481.0

Edited to fix decimal point/comma snafu. We the People -- and most everyone else around the world -- get "left behind" for real.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #3)

Wed Sep 18, 2013, 09:51 AM

4. This isn't real money. Is it derivatives exposure?

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 18, 2013, 10:09 AM

6. OP source 21. “The Top Asset Management Firms 2012, Banks around the World,” June 30, 2012,


For some reason, their server's crashed. I'll try again later.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 18, 2013, 10:21 AM

8. Yeah, I think this is deriviatives. They don't actually possess that money, it's a swirling morass o

of debt, loans, leveraged again and again, etc. Which is, in itself, horrifying.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #8)

Wed Sep 18, 2013, 10:41 AM

10. Agree, totally. The sad part is, they've got the US taxpayer on the hook for so much of it.

Thanks to the repeal of Glass-Steagall, etc. Even Forbes, of all people, thinks so:

Why Son Of Glass-Steagall Deserves To Be Born

John Wasik
Forbes, PERSONAL FINANCE | 7/12/2013


What’s at stake? Building a firewall between the monstrosity created by under-regulated derivatives trading. According to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), last year, the size of outstanding over-the-counter derivatives was $25 trillion; $18 trillion of that was in interest-rate contracts, which are favorite vehicles for banks, which also speculate in precious metals and currencies.

Some estimates, however, place the “notional” size of the global derivatives market to be around $700 trillion. No one knows for sure, since there’s no robust independent watchdog watching this market. If the global financial system were to see another 2008-scale blow-up — or something even larger — there wouldn’t be enough credit or government assistance to bail out the biggest players, which include most of the largest bank and non-bank holding companies in the world.

The 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law called for several provisions to regulate derivatives, but they’ve been slow in coming and vigorously fought by the financial services lobby. Many friends of Wall Street would love to repeal Dodd-Frank and retreat to the regulatory free-for-all before the 2008 meltdown.

In the interim, the “son” of Glass-Steagall needs to be passed. While it won’t end too-big-to-fail, it will at least sideline insured deposits — and another potential taxpayer-funded bailout — from the fast, casino world of bankers’ trading desks.

SOURCE: http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnwasik/2013/07/12/why-son-of-glass-steagall-deserves-to-be-born/

Nasty amounts of money. And very few people get to enjoy it.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 18, 2013, 01:52 PM

12. Got the answer...I think...

...missed understanding of trillion/quadrillion on my part or somebody somewhere's...

From the link:

Following are the top 10 and top 30 largest asset managers in the world ranked by total AUM as of June 30, 2012. BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK) is the largest asset manager int eh world with assets under management of US$3.56 trillion. BlackRock was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in New York City, United States. The company acquired Barclays Global Investors (BGI) in December 2009.


Still a lot of lettuce.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Sep 18, 2013, 09:52 AM

5. Trickle down DOES work; just ask the paid disruptors!

Little pissant cyber-serfs tugging their forelocks to the One Percenters.

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Response to Divernan (Reply #5)

Wed Sep 18, 2013, 10:11 AM

7. Thanks, Divernan! I've got a fave or two.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Sep 18, 2013, 10:36 AM

9. They will not allow anyone to change this. Even an armed insurrection will not be successful.


Our own military will kill us and the same will happen in every country where the people revolt.

Now go back to watching South Park.

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #9)

Wed Sep 18, 2013, 10:43 AM

11. That ref blew a call against the Lions.

Again. Not saying it's a conspiracy or anything, but our owner is getting on in years, let alone the fan base.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Sep 18, 2013, 01:58 PM

13. More importance and truth in this little thread

than in most on the front page right now.


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Response to woo me with science (Reply #13)

Wed Sep 18, 2013, 03:13 PM

14. Thanks, woo me with science. I'd hoped the 1912 cartoon would prove effective...

...in illustrating how Big Money stays Old Money:

"One of the things that is interesting about reading conspiracy theory is that much of what folks think is conspiracy is really many people acting in concert to make or protect their money." - Catherine Austin Fitts

Note the mug on the face of planet earth, Big Oil and their Banksters, as Dean Henderson puts 'em...

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Thu Sep 19, 2013, 10:14 AM

15. Important thread, thanks for posting. Will have to spend more time on this. nm


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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #15)

Fri Sep 20, 2013, 04:41 PM

17. These are the fellahs who'll make a killing off TPP.

An example of the future of Global Capital:

MoreTobacco, Less Health Care

Trans-Pacific Partnership Secrecy Tightens


The secret Trans-Pacific Partnership is about to become even more secret, perhaps seen as a necessity in light of plans to make it easier for tobacco companies to sue while making health care more difficult to obtain.

The governments negotiating the draconian TPP still don’t want you to know what’s in it. Many of them issued cheery press releases congratulating themselves for the “progress” they made last week in Brunei. But you will search in vain for any information on what TPP negotiators are up to. They will now end their practice of “consultation” — the August 23 to 30 negotiations (the 19th round) are the last scheduled. Instead, negotiators will begin to meet in unannounced meetings.

In other words, not only is the text of the TPP to remain a secret, the negotiations themselves are to now be secret.


Yes to tobacco, no to medicine

The Obama administration has consistently pushed for the most draconian rules. Washington’s latest outrage concerns regulations on tobacco products, universally opposed by tobacco companies. Early drafts of the TPP included “safe harbor” provisions protecting national tobacco-control measures — such as package warnings and advertising and marketing restrictions — from corporate challenges. But the Obama administration has reversed course under tobacco industry and U.S. Chamber of Commerce pressure, intending to severely limit the ability of signatory governments to maintain their laws.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said its counter-proposal would “contain a general exception for matters necessary to protect human life or health” and add a provision that a complaining “party” (that is, a corporation) must first meet with “health authorities … to discuss the measure.”

Note that there is nothing in the proposal that prevents a complaining “party” from suing to overturn a regulation following a discussion. And the “general exception” is meaningless as the arbitration boards that hear investor complaints (controlled by entities such as the World Bank) consistently rule that any environmental or safety rule that reduces a corporation’s profits be overturned. For example, Canada was forced to pay Ethyl Corporation $13 million and issue an apology because it had banned a gasoline additive that causes neurological damage and contributes to air pollution. This additive was already banned in the U.S., where Ethyl is based, but the chemical company claimed Canada’s ban “expropriated” its profits.



PS: You are most welcome, rhett o rick! Very much appreciate that you grok the situation and what is coming.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Fri Sep 20, 2013, 12:19 PM

16. Kick.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #16)

Fri Sep 20, 2013, 04:46 PM

18. Corporate Power is dwarfing Democracy and Justice and Peace...

Here's a decent overview:


Of the world’s 100 largest economic entities in 2009, 44 are corporations. If you look at the top 150 economic entities, the proportion of corporations rises to 59%.

The largest in 2009, Wal-Mart Stores, had revenues exceeding the respective GDPs of 174 countries (i) including Sweden, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela and employed over 2 million people, more than the entire population of Qatar. If it was a country, it would be the 22nd largest in the world.

Shell has bigger revenues than the combined GDPs of Pakistan and Bangladesh, the sixth and seventh most populous nations in the world, together home to 350 million people. Sinopec, China’s leading energy and chemical company, is bigger than Singapore. The insurer AXA is bigger than Nigeria. Even with the troubles of the automotive industry, Ford is bigger than New Zealand.

Together, the 44 companies in our top 100 list generated revenues of US$ 6.4 trillion in 2009, equivalent to over 11% of global GDP.[ii] These combined revenues are larger than the combined economies of 155 countries, that is, all the countries in the world except the largest 40 in terms of GDP.

The contribution of the companies in our top 100 to global employment falls far short of their economic clout. Together, they employed over 13.5 million people in 2009, just 0.4% of the world’s economically active population.[iii] However, this still exceeds by over a million people the combined total populations of Switzerland and Singapore.

The Changing Shape of Corporate Clout

Our analysis of the 2009 top economic entities was conducted against a backdrop of global financial and economic turmoil. The recession was biting deep into both national and corporate coffers. So we also analyzed the trends over the last decade and looked back to earlier similar analyses, such as the one conducted by Sarah Anderson and John Cavanagh noted in the sidebar.



The corporatists are good at what they do, amassing capital. Too bad they don't devote their resources to, I don't know, making this a better world?

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