State of power 2019 infographics: Sources

The research for this infographic has been collected by Ben Tippet, a PhD research student at the University of Greenwich. To find out more information, or to contact him, please see

We would also like to thank Rodrigo Fernandez, Lavinia Steinfort, Jasper Blom, Ann Pettifor and Nick Buxton, for providing insightful and critical feedback on the work.

If you have any questions, comments or corrections on this data and the infographics, we would love to hear from you. Please email stateofpower AT tni DOT org

Big finance: key players

Global Financial Assets Graph

The latest figure is for 2013, which has financial assets = $242 trillion which is 329% as a share of global GDP, is from Deutsche Bank. The earlier figures are from a TNI Financialisation A primer.

Growth of Shadow Banking

Source: FSB, 2014

The graph included looking at the assets held by OFIs, and the data comes from the FSB (2018) report.

OFIs have been chosen as the measure of shadowing banking, in line with the recommendations made by Rodrigo in this chapter, pg 8.

Top 13 Financial Giants

Source: (FSB, 2018, Phillips, 2018)

What is the criteria used for selecting top global financial actors?
We have included all financial institutions that have assets over $2 trillion. As the basis for finding these institutions, I used a mix of the FSB 2018 globally systemic banks, the list from Phillips (2018) and an SPG report (2017). I have double checked the figures in both the Phillips book and the SPG report against the annual report balance sheets of each company and omitted any financial institutions where the recorded assets were less than $2 trillion. In addition, I drew on a US Treasury Department Office of Financial Research report in 2013 that unlike FSB included Asset Management Firms in its assessment of systemic risks.

The figures are all for 2017.


Source: FSB, 2018

The basis for the relationships have been drawn from the FSB’s 2018 report on pg 35. The only sector which wasn’t included in this was central banks, asset management firms, and auditors, who have been added in. Asset management firms have been included in Other Financial Institutions, acknowledging that this doesn’t 100% capture reality, as many AM are subsidiaries of banks, and may likely be included in bank’s assets according to FSB.

Stats for the financial assets of each sector comes from (FSB, 2017, pg 11)

According to FSB Other financial institutions hold 29.2% of global financial assets. This can be broken down according to the sub-category of institutions. The share of these in the total share of global financial assets are:

  • Investment funds: 10.9% of global financial assets (37.3/339.9)
  • MMFS: 1.4% of global financial assets (5.0/339.9)
  • Hedge Funds: 1.0% of global financial assets (3.7/339.9)


Insurance companies

Pension funds

Central Banks

  • The $16,279 QE spending per person figure has been worked out using the QE totals (references can be found for that section), and population figures from wikipedia: 325.8 + 126.8 + 66 + 341.4 = 860 million people. 14,000,000,000,000/860,000,000 = 16,279 per person

Other financial institutions / Asset management funds

  • Asset management funds figures from Vanity Fair
  • Investment (PE and Index Funds)
    FSB define investment funds is a general term to describe of all different types of funds, that are neither hedge funds or MMFs, which are counted separately. I am assuming that this includes Private equity and index funds and, although it doesn’t specifically say this on the FSB report.
  • MMS
    2.9 trillion in MMFs from SEC
  • Hedge funds
    60% of hedge funds in Cayman Islands. Jan Fitchner, (2016), The anatomy of the Cayman Islands offshore financial center: Anglo-America, Japan, and the role of hedge funds
  • Shadow banks are defined by the FSB (2018) measure of OFI. This is the old FSB definition of shadow banks. Asset management funds are the biggest component of other financial institutions, even though they are not directly mentioned in the FSB report.


Who funds who? Has been taken from FSB, 2018, pg 35.

Owners of Top 17 Asset Management Firms

Source: (Phillips, 2018)

  • 70% male/84% white. (Phillips, 2018, pg 62)
  • G30/Trilateral commission. (Phillips, 2018, pg 162)

Oiled by Central Bankers

Source: (Investopedia, 2018, FT, 2017/2018, Central Banks, 2018)

ECB stats

People’s Bank of China

Bank of Japan

  • Current assets: $4.81 trillion
  • The dollar to yen exchange rate is 0.0088. The original number in Yen was 5,450,000,000, million Japanese Yen.
  • Total assets bought under QE as of 2018: $3.862 trillion increase in assets from 2001 to 2018. (St Louis Fed, 2018)

Bank of England

  • Current assets: £ 606,813 billion (Bank of England, 2018a)
  • Converting this into dollars at current 1.29 $/£ rate gives us: $779,865 billion
  • Ran from 2009 – 2012, and then again in 2016 following Brexit.
  • Total assets purchased = £435 billion (Bank of England, 2018b)
  • Converting this into dollars at current 1.29 $/£ rate gives us: $559.05 billion

Audited by Insiders

Source: (Statista, 2018, FT, 2017)

Geography of financial power

Financial Centres

Source: (Global Financial Centre Index: 2018)

(Global Financial Centre Index: 2018) An industry benchmark for ranking Top Financial Centres is the Global Financial Centre Index (GFCI). It awards scores based on 5 categories: Business Environment, Human Capital, Infrastructure, Financial Sector Development, and Reputation. Its compiled using 137 instrumental factors provided by third parties including the World Bank, The Economist Intelligence Unit, the OECD, and the United Nations.

Offshore Financial Centres

Sink OFCs: (Fichtner, 2015)
Conduit OFCs: (Garcia-Bernardo et al, 2017)
1/6th of all private wealth in tax havens: (Hickel, 2017, pg 463)

I have used a combination of the Garcia, Bernardo et al 2017 paper and Fichtner’s 2015 paper to devise the offshore financial centres map. The only thing that comes from the Fichtner paper is the foreign asset numbers (there are estimates missing for Taiwan and Malta). Everything else – the rank of the top sink and conduits, the offshoring estimates, the proportion of flows etc – comes from the 2017 paper. The reason I have included some stuff from Fitchner is because I wanted to include an estimate – foreign assets – that makes sense to the reader, as the 2017 paper uses an index that can’t be intuitively interpreted.

  • Garcia-Bernardo, et al (2017) Uncovering Offshore Financial Centers: Conduits and Sinks in the Global Corporate Ownership Network.
  • 1/6th of all private wealth in tax havens. (Hickel, 2017, pg 463) Jason Hickel (2017) The Divide, A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions. Random House
  • These 5 countries channel.
  • Jan Fichtner (2015) The Offshore-Intensity Ratio: Identifying the Strongest Magnets for Foreign Capital, Working Paper,

Shadow Banking Hubs

Source: (FSB, 2018)

The measure of shadow banking here is the narrow measure of shadow banking by the FSB.

FSB, 2018, pg 3, Shadow Banking Monitoring Report

Corporate crimes

Fines paid out since 2000

Source: (Violation Tracker Database, 2018)

This table has the full list of corporate crimes that the big 13 have paid out for since 2000. It includes all cases initiated US Justice Department and 40 federal agencies.  There are financial players – such as Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank – have recently paid out massive fines but aren’t included below as they are not included in the top 13 players.The original material comes from the Violation Tracker Database, accessed in December 2018. In the total database there are 327,000 civil and criminal cases with total penalties of more than $440 billion.

Violation Tracker Database from Corporate Research Project from Good Jobs First (Original Sources are available via

Crime Pays

Source: Reward – (Good Jobs First Subsidy Tracker, 2018)

We paid the cost


  • Cost of FC: (Government Accountability Office, 2013)
  • Unemployment: (Source: ILOStat)
  • Key Fact: (ILO, 2015)
  • Government Accountability Office report and $22 trillion figure can be found here
  • Unemployment stats: The raw data for this was taken from ILOStat in December 2018. Annual data. Unemployment by sex and age (thousands). The unemployed comprise all persons of working age who were: a) without work during the reference period, i.e. were not in paid employment or self-employment; b) currently available for work, i.e. were available for paid employment or self-employment during the reference period; and c) seeking work, i.e. had taken specific steps in a specified recent period to seek paid employment or self-employment. For purposes of international comparability, the period of job search is often defined as the preceding four weeks, but this varies from country to country. The specific steps taken to seek employment may include registration at a public or private employment exchange; application to employers; checking at worksites, farms, factory gates, market or other assembly places; placing or answering newspaper advertisements; seeking assistance of friends or relatives; looking for land, building, machinery or equipment to establish own enterprise; arranging for financial resources; and applying for permits and licences. It simply companies the number of unemployed people between 2007 and 2010, to estimate how unemployment increased over this time.
  • 61 million figure comes from ILO (2015, pg 11) World Employment and Social Outlook
  • “I can assure you if you think Her Majesty’s Government is ever going to prosecute people of my class, you are utterly mistaken. We are a protected species.” from Shaxson, 2018, pg 373.


Lobbying Giants

All the sources for these come from the websites of the lobby groups. The top financial giants have been checked against these websites. This was done in December/January 2018/9.

Paying For Candidates


  • Left Graph: (Open Secrets, 2018)
  • Right Graph: (Americans for Financial Reform, 2017)

Both the graphs are from Americans for Financial Reform (2017)  Wall Street Money in Washington 2015-2016 Campaign and Lobby Spending by the Financial Sector

Lobbying Politicians

Source: (Open Secrets, 2019)

  • One thing to think about when comparing this graph with the one above. Firstly, the graph in “Paying for Candidates: is looking at the spending over two years (2015-2016). Secondly, it includes both spending on lobbying and campaign contributions. The graph in this section, lobbying politicians, just looks at lobbying. Lobbying includes the total spending for just registered lobbyists and is likely to be underestimation. Open Secrets. Accessed in January 2019
  • How Wall Street Defanged Dodd-Frank, The Nation. Accessed in January 2019

Populating Advisory Groups

Source: (Corporate Europe Observatory, 2017)

Revolving Doors

Source: (Corporate Europe Observatory, 2018, Private Eye, 2016)

Winning Big

Source: (Corporate Europe Observatory, 2018)

Key Issue at State Short Description Key Lobbyist Tactics of Lobbyists Did finance win or lose?
Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive To regulate hedge funds and private equity firms, to stop tax evasion and implement rules of how much capital they should hold. European Venture Capital Association EVCA (private equity funds, today called Invest Europe)

AIMA (hedge funds)


Quote from lobby group “Thousands of jobs and millions in tax revenues could be at stake”

US and UK State Lobbying:

In the first six months of 2010 no less than 46 meetings between UK Conservative MEPs and the fund industry took place. On behalf of the UK, the US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wrote a letter to EU heads of state warning that new rules could lead to a trade war between the two powers.

Win – the directive was massively watered down to only concern transparency and actually benefited hedge funds
Basel Banking Regulation in 2010 In the wake of 2008, Basel represented the reforms to the global banking regulatory system. Focused on capital requirements, i.e. the amount of capital banks must hold as a proportion of their assets and liabilities. Institute for International Finance Misinformation

IIF issued report warning reforms could lead to millions of jobs lost and a slowdown in growth. These warnings were shown to be false in  two reports by BIS.

Yes – the capital requirements imposed were far too low, and below that already imposed by market forces. Source
Bankers Bonuses Cap 2013 Rule to limit bonuses to 100% of salaries British Financial lobbying groups via UK government. The fight against bankers bonuses was lead by the UK government, who at one point threatened to sue to EU over it.

Britain’s financial services industry spent in excess of £92.8m engaging with the political process in 2011. And that over 800 individuals lobby Whitehall and regulators.

Win -Banks were able to redefine bonuses as ‘role-based pay’, or simply increase salaries in other ways.
Reform of accounting and auditing rules 2013 Regulation to break to cosy relationships between the auditors and the big banks which had led to a overly rosy picture of bank’s of assets in the run up to the crisis. Also, on the table was  banning accountancy firms from giving tax advice to companies whose books they were already auditing. Audit Firms and British Conservative party Misinformation

EY argued that rotation of auditors could costs more than €16bn. Source

Win – the EU regulation was adopted in early 2014 but it is weak and full of loopholes. Banks can keep the same auditing firm for 24 years, down from the original proposal of 10 years.
2012 Proposal to Break up Biggest Banks Finnish central banker Erkki Liikanen proposal to separate retail and investment banking, to prevent banks from using customers money to invest in risky products Intense Lobbying at the national level in Germany, France, and the UK. Win – Due to national level lobbying, the negotiations broke down and the proposal was never implemented
Financial Transaction Tax “proposal for a tiny tax on all transactions on financial markets, to raise funds and prevent speculative and destabilising transactions, such as high-speed speculation. Recent estimate is that FTT will raise $23.5 billion Global Financial Markets Association

Fédération Bancaire Française


GFMA report claimed FTT would claim 0.5 per cent of estimated growth

National Level Lobbying

Fédération Bancaire Française that argued a tax would cripple the development of the French financial sector

Win – FTT has been stalled. A recent lobby report gleefully wrote, “There seems to be little momentum behind the FTT.” Source

Concentrating wealth and power

The Elite Top 20 Investors

All the stats in this section come from the (Haberly and Wójcik, 2016) academic paper: Haberly and Wójcik (2016), Earth Incorporated: Centralization and Variegation in the Global Company Network.

And their investment helps concentrate power in companies too

Corporations have pushed all this money into consolidation in order to push up their share prices, which are currently at record levels.

And the Rich keep getting richer

Profile of Larry Fink

  • These stats and facts are from the Phillips (2018) book

Siphoned off into Tax Havens

Banking on alternatives

Source: (Matikainen et al, 2017) – QE environment

  • To create the aggregate QE figures, we have simply added up the QE estaimtes we have for the four central banks: FED, BOJ, BOE and ECB. According to my estimates this gives us $10,421 trillion. A more indepth study, by Goldman Sachs counts the figure at $12 trillion. CNBC
  • For consistency within our infographic and so we can show the dollars, I will keep with the $10.4 trillion
  • Stats about asset prices increases and BoE stimulus lending are from
  • The statistics about the ecological cost of QE comes from
  • Quote about QE benefiting financial sector from
  • Stat about ECB reserves are from:
  • Stats about inflating asset prices
  • 77% of money ended up … (Guardian 2018)
  • There are 4.3 billion people on the world who live on less than $5 dollars a day. To give each of these people an extra $5 dollars would be 4.3x656x5= 7,847 billion. The rest of the money could be used to administer the program. The 4.3 billion figure comes from (Hickel, 2017, p 113)