Concentrating
Wealth and Power

The Elite Top 20 Investors

The top twenty most influential world investors are significant shareholders in 61% of the world’s biggest firms.

Top 20 Investment Funds

top-20

Largest 205 Corporations

top-205
  • Key Fact
  • BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street are the single largest shareholder in 40 percent of all listed US companies.
Source: (Haberly and Wójcik, 2016)

And their investment helps concentrate power in companies too

Out of $1.43 trillion global foreign direct investments in 2017, nearly half went into consolidating corporate power rather than new investments for the future:

Mergers and Acquisitions

$694 billion

acquisitions

Greenfield (New) Investments

$720 billion

greenfield
  • Key Fact
  • In a survey of 390 deals worth $700 billion, 55% of private equity firms cut long-term investments, not increased them, resulting in slower growth, not faster growth.
Source: (Rasmussen, 2018)

Top four firms’ share of total revenue within their sector in the US

across 893 industries, grouped by sector*

IT, telecoms and media

IT-pie

Retail trade

retail-pie

Finance and insurance

finance-pie

All sectors

all-pie
  • Key Fact
  • Two-thirds of all US corporate sectors have become more concentrated since 1997.
Source: (The Economist, 2016)

And the rich keep getting richer

Corporations have funneled all this money into increasing their market share to inflate share prices to record levels.

US companies' global return on capital

global-return-on-capital
Source: (The Economist, 2016)

Household ownership of US stock market

household-stock-ownership
Source: (Wolff, 2017)

As stock ownership is concentrated in just a few hands, pumped up share prices mainly benefit the rich

The richest 1% own 45% of the world's wealth

54-45-wealth
wealth-graph-1
Source: Credit Suisse, Global Wealth Databook
  • Key Fact
  • Quantitative Easing boosted stock markets in UK by 20% almost exclusively benefitting the richest 5% of households that control 40% of stock market who became up to £128,000 better off.

Siphoned off into tax havens

Offshore tax havens
$21-32 trillion estimate source: (Tax Justice Network, 2010) | $500 billion each tax loss estimate source: (Tax justice Network, 2010)