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Trans Atlantic Business Dialogue and The End of the Democractic Era

GLOBALISATION IS NOT JUST HAPPENING NATURALLY - IT IS BEING PLANNED AND EXECUTED BY A RELATIVELY TINY BUNCH OF EXTREMELY POWERFUL PEOPLE WHO ARE UNDERMINING DEMOCRATIC AND OPINION FORMING SYSTEMS TO GET THEIR WAY. AND EXTEND THEIR LAWFUL PROPERTY TO INCLUDE EVERYTHING - INCLUDING, THROUGH GENETIC OWNERSHIP, YOU.

20Nov00 - Multinational Monitor - TABD: Corporate Conspiracy

21May00 - The Observer - TABD sets the agenda for WTO - Tony rushes in where Bill fears to tread

11Aug99 - David Rockefeller calls for business to take over the role of government

30May98 - People's Weekly World - $300 Million Will be Used to Buy Votes in November Congressional Elections

Dec96/Jan97 - CCPA Monitor - Corporate Rule has Replaced Democratic Rule

19Jul98 - But do bear in mind......

09Nov96 - People's Weekly World - The Top 200 Corporations: Bigger Than Big

11Oct96 - Chicago Tribune - Businesses wealthier than many countries

04Oct96 - Salt Lake City - National Federal Lands Conference Blames and Names the Global Elite

Stereolab - Ping Pong


TABD: Corporate Conspiracy

20Nov00 - By Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

Corporate rule is not built on a conspiracy. But that does not mean that corporations never conspire

Sometimes corporate executives do gather in secret meetings and work to plot collective approaches to advance Big Business's broad interests. Case in point: the TransAtlantic Business Dialogue (TABD).

The TABD is a grouping of top corporate executives from multinational corporations in the United States and Europe. TABD CEOs meet annually with top U.S. and European government officials, most recently this past week in Cincinnati. The TABD's mission is to boost trade and investment between the United States and Europe, as well as throughout the world.

The CEOs in TABD are vigorously urging the launch of a new World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiating round (the project that was stifled in Seattle), and for other enlargements of the WTO.

But the TABD's unique mission is to focus on the U.S.-EU relationship, and push forward a deregulatory agenda that it hopes to then impose on the entire world.

The TABD is explicit that its concerns go way beyond traditional tariff issues. "Elected representatives agreed in the Uruguay Round [the last completed negotiating round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which led to the creation of the WTO] to largely remove traditional tariffs as inefficient restraints on economic liberty," proclaims the TABD's 2000 Mid-Year Report. "The new obstacles to trade are now domestic regulations."

"Non-tariff barriers to operations should be tackled with the same zeal," as tariffs were reduced, the report insists.

The TABD inventory of domestic regulations that constitute "obstacles to trade" is remarkably expansive. Among the areas where TABD has registered complaints: differential standards for review of chemical safety, the U.S. requirement that products be labeled with U.S. customary units (inch/pound) instead of the metric system, differing national standards for regulating electromagnetic fields (relevant to cell phone regulation), restrictions on direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising in the EU, and potential U.S. emissions regulations for diesel engines for recreational boats that may differ from the EU's. The TABD also argues that the U.S. product liability system is a "serious impediment to transatlantic trade and investment."

A consistent theme of the TABD's list of complaints is inconsistency between countries' regulations. The TABD CEOs view diversity of regulatory approaches -- what should be viewed as among the blessings of democracy -- as itself a trade barrier.

To achieve uniformity, TABD ardently supports regulatory "harmonization" -- formal international mechanisms to establish single global standards. A second choice is Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs), by which different regulatory regimes are declared equivalent, and products cleared in one country are given a free pass into another -- even if the first country's regulatory system is in fact inferior to the importing country's.

For almost every regulatory complaint TABD lodges, the organization's proposed solution is either harmonization or an MRA. The effort has been enormously successful, with MRAs in place or in progress for everything from electrical safety to pharmaceutical safety, and harmonization in place or underway for areas ranging from road safety to aircraft noise.

TABD-style uniformity virtually always involves the use of the weaker standard, meaning consumer, environmental and worker well-being is put at risk. Even more worrisome is how TABD uniformity would block regulatory evolution. Once standard-setting is placed at the international level, it is largely removed from the reach of citizen movements, making it far, far harder to protest and lobby for strengthened biotech regulations, for example. The MRAs also thwart regulatory enhancement, by enabling domestic manufacturers to say that stiffer standards will unfairly disadvantage them against importers who get a free pass under other countries' weaker rules.

To ensure that its anti-democratic demands are attended to by the purportedly democratic governments of the United States and the EU, TABD issues yearly scorecards on the trading partners' compliance with TABD recommendations. And now it has established an "early warning system," so that Big Business can force items onto the U.S.-EU negotiating agenda. Among the top U.S. side concerns: Italian restrictions on genetically modified foods and a European environmental regulation requiring electronics manufacturers to provide for the recycling of discarded products.

Unfortunately, these series of recommendations are not just corporate wish lists. When the TABD speaks, the governments listen (in fact, top public officials are in the room with the CEOs at their annual gatherings).

"It is difficult to overstate the effect the TABD has had on trade liberalization," Undersecretary of Commerce Timothy Hauser told a Congressional committee in 1997. "Virtually every market-opening move undertaken by the United States and the EU in the last couple years has been suggested by the TABD."

But now, with help from groups like Corporate Europe Observatory (www.xs4all.nl/~ceo) and Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch (www.tradewatch.org) which have been tracking the TABD for years, the growing movement against corporate globalization is learning of TABD's scheming.

With hundreds of informed and militant protesters shining a spotlight on TABD last week in Cincinnati, the CEOs in TABD have at least been deprived of the power that comes from being able to hatch their deregulatory plots in secret. How effectively TABD will be able to function in the light of day remains to be seen.

Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter. Robert Weissman is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Multinational Monitor. They are co-authors of Corporate Predators: The Hunt for MegaProfits and the Attack on Democracy (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1999).

Focus on the Corporation is a weekly column written by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman.

Focus on the Corporation is distributed to individuals on the listserve corp-focus@lists.essential.org. To subscribe to corp-focus, send an e-mail message to corp-focus-request@lists.essential.org with the text: subscribe

Focus on the Corporation columns are posted at <http://www.corporatepredators.org>.


TABD sets the agenda for WTO - Tony rushes in where Bill fears to tread

Clinton has 'wimped out' but the corporate big hitters are pleased with Blair 'the believer'

Gregory Palast

The Observer - Sunday May 21, 2000

For all you conspiracy cranks and paranoid anti-globalisers who imagine that the planet's corporate elite and government functionaries actually meet to conspire about their blueprint for rewriting the laws of sovereign nations... be advised that the next meeting of the New World Order will be held next Tuesday at the Swiss Hotel in Brussels, at 9am.

This is the mid-year meeting of the Transatlantic Business Dialogue - and you aren't invited.

In 1997, just after Labour's general election victory, US Commerce Secretary Bill Daley met privately with the new Trade and Industry Secretary, Margaret Beckett, to instruct her on the ways of the world.

According to the US Secretary's own briefing notes - obtained under the US Freedom of Information Act - Daley dictated a list of four changes in UK law and policy required to smooth the path of American corporations in Britain. In addition, further guidance would be provided by what Daley described as 'the most influential business group advising government on US-EU commercial relations', the Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD). 'Your encouragement,' he admonished the Minister, 'would be helpful.'

As Butch said to Sundance, Who are these guys? TABD is a working group of the West's 100 most powerful chief executives. When presidents, prime ministers and other transitory heads of state meet at the World Trade Organisation, this more permanent grouping provides their agenda.

The TABD's system is masterfully efficient. One US bigwig is paired with one European for each sector grouping. For example, Monsanto's Robert Harness and Unilever's Huib Vigeveno are in charge of Agri-Biotech.

The US government and the EU each assign an official to each industry pair. TABD has privileged access not to small fry, but to top bananas such as Pascal Lamy, European Commissioner for Trade, and Erkki Liikanen, Commissioner for Enterprise and the Information Society.

Next week, the officials will report to their corporate duos on the headway they have made on the 33 items on the current TABD implementation table. This lists 33 environment, consumer and worker protection laws in selected nations which TABD wishes to defeat or water down.

The corporates will render their verdict on what TABD calls the scorecard. This will then be turned over, along with a new implementation table - including agenda items for the WTO - to Presidents Clinton and Prodi at their summit meeting in Portugal later this month.

The 1988 implementation table, one of the first documents obtained, grudgingly, from the EC under its access to information rules, makes good reading for those wanting to know what's planned for our brave new world.

For example, several of the 'tetra-partite groups' (the two-on-two government-business trysting sessions) seek expansion for something called the MRA. The initials stand for Mutual Recognition Agreement, or what the TABD describes as, 'approved once, accepted everywhere'. It is the globalisers' cruise missile.

Here's an example of how it works. Years ago the Pfizer company manufactured defective heart valves which cracked, killing 165 patients in whom they had been implanted. Understandably, this made Europe wary of accepting devices merely because they had been blessed by the US Food and Drug Administration. But the MRA brushes aside individual nations' health and safety regulatory reviews - including individual regulation of medical device manufacturing plants.

Given the ill-feeling in Europe about genetic modification, the MRA rules for GM products are devilishly complex and savvy, effectively applying only to the developing nations. Does Brazil have a problem with Monsanto's Bovine Growth hormone? Sorry, approval by the WTO's Codex Alimentarius committee means Brazil must accept the product or face WTO trade sanctions.

The US, too, is a target of TABD's contempt for consumer protection. TABD's products liability group, under the guise of eliminating 'non-tariff' trade barriers, takes aim at the unique right of American citizens to sue corporate bad guys. One TABD proposal would reverse the $5 billion judgment against Exxon in the Exxon Valdez oil spill case.

Recently, however, the TABD lobby locomotive has been slowed by lambs on the tracks.

The demonstrations in Seattle and Washington had, according to TABD members I interviewed, an effect far beyond anything the demonstrators themselves could have imagined. The first purpose of the WTO meeting was to launch a new round of cuts in import duties and a push to eliminate more of the rules covering imports, known as non-tariff regulatory barriers. That went up in tear-gas smoke. Sweating under the TV lights, the WTO shrank from voting a new 'comprehensive round'.

Worse, TABD's deregulation programme was publicly rejected by an erstwhile ally. The implementation table clearly told government officials, on page 17, that 'the basic purpose of an MAI [Multilateral Agreement on Investments] should not be undermined by language on labour policy and environmental policy', dicta adopted by the US and EC.

Yet there was Bill Clinton, spooked by opinion polls showing public support for the demonstrators' views, telling the Seattle audience weepy-eyed stories of the horrors of child labour in Brazil.

Business leaders were infuriated. Frustration with their former champion Clinton burst into the open two weeks ago when, at a meeting of the International Chamber of Commerce in Budapest, industrialists shouted down a proposal to 'dialogue' with non-governmental organisations such as Amnesty International.

'I don't believe that those who were in Seattle represented somebody with a legitimate stake,' fumed Peter Sutherland, head of investment bank Goldman Sachs UK. Sutherland, who jumped to Goldman from his post as director of the WTO, prefers the company of his own kind. 'We have to be very careful on engaging in this debate, as those NGOs [non-governmental organisations] should not have a say with government!' (Interestingly, the Goldman bank chaired the TABD when Sutherland was running the WTO.)

Clinton had wimped out on business. But, just in time, the Chambers of Commerce have found a new knight errant.

'Tony Blair, he was great! He had guts! That's the leadership we need,' economist Jagdish Bhagwati, globalisation guru, told the disheartened suits in Budapest. He applauded the PM for speaking out, 'against anti-capitalist NGOs'.

When I spoke with Bhagwati this week, he contrasted Clinton's 'absurd, ignorant' pleas for Brazil's child labourers with the attitude of Clare Short. Bhagwati, who sat next to the International Development Secretary at the WTO in Seattle, described with giggly approval how she kept him in stitches, mocking a speaker from the African National Congress while the ANC man spoke of the connection between globalisation and child labour. 'No one in the Clinton administration would have done that.' No, they would not.

Businessmen lobbying their way into government offices is an old story, but the supercharged TABD version - infiltration by invitation - began only in 1995 as the brainchild of Ron Brown, Clinton's first Commerce Secretary.

Brown, who died in a 1996 air crash, was Clinton's Mandelson, architect of the scheme to turn Democrats into New Democrats, the party of business. When Brown died, Clinton's passion for pairing with business passed away too, not uninfluenced by the demolition of the New Democrats in the 1994 Congressional elections.

Clinton lopped off the 'New' label - take note, Tony - when his good buddies in industry, sensing his weakness, rushed back to their natural home in the Republican Party.

Clinton still goes through the motions of meeting TABD, as required by commercial realpolitik, but its leaders, such as Jim Wootten of the US Chamber of Commerce, tell me they doubt the President's sincerity.

But Blair is different. 'Blair really believes ,' says Bhagwati admiringly of Blair's globalising fervour. And TABD members agree. Unlike that scamp from Arkansas whose expressions of policy are as inconstant as his expressions of fidelity, Blair is a man of convictions. His heart leaps at visions of a flexible labour force, of entrepreneurs liberated from bureaucrats' rule-books, of a new economy relieved of the antique task of bending metal into Rovers.

In 1997, according to US documents, Blair personally stepped over Margaret Beckett to water down regulations permitting Americans to build gas-fired power plants in the UK. He also hopped about to accomplish the other three tasks on the US Commerce Secretary's favours list.

Don't dismiss this as just a series of tawdry fixes. The Prime Minister rolled out the golden doormat in Downing Street to American companies because he looks on these bold screw-the-rules operators as an entrepreneurial stud pool whom he hopes will breed with and revitalise the hoof-dragging local stock.

It's sad, really. Unlike Clinton, who wised up quickly, Blair confuses the TABD's self-serving wishlist with a programme of economic salvation.

He trusts his industry darlings will never leave his side. But as his re-election becomes ever more doubtful, he will find that, as they say in Arkansas, Tony's been kissed - but he ain't been loved.

gregory.palast@guardian.co.uk


11Aug99 - David Rockefeller calls for business to take over the role of government

From: chomsky@MIT.EDU 11Aug99

Dear Tony,

Just found your note. Finally got around to writing up the talk for AI. Here's the section with the Rockefeller quote you asked about:

The basic thesis was expressed well by David Rockefeller, commenting on the trend towards "lessen[ing] the role of government." This is "something business people tend to be in favor of," he remarked, "But the other side of that coin is that somebody has to take governments' place, and business seems to me to be a logical entity to do it. I think that too many business people simply haven't faced up to that, or they have said, `It's somebody else's responsibility; it's not mine'.

"FOOTNOTE{"Looking for New Leadership," _Newsweek International_, Feb. 1, 1999.}

Noam


Breaking the grip of big money: Candidates expected to raise $300 million for Nov elections

By Tim Wheeler, 30May98 - People's Weekly World

"Money is like a drug that is taking over American democracy," said Ryan McPherson, a spokesman for Public Campaign, a group that advocates public financing of federal elections. "Big money rules. It's not democracy but an oligarchy of cash."

Jarvis Tyner, a vice chair of the Communist Party USA, said the domination of money in U.S. politics "hearkens back to the days when only people of wealth and property could vote and hold office."

Tyner added, "Now we have a system which permits a tiny, wealthy, corporate minority to completely dominate the election process and block independent candidates and parties from succeeding. This has got to change."

Both Tyner and McPherson were commenting on the estimated $300 million the Democratic and Republican parties will raise for this year's congressional elections, an all-time record. Already the two parties of Big Business have raked in a combined $94 million. At least twice that amount is expected to pour in by Nov. 3, while voter turnout is expected to hit a record low.

Public Campaign supports the Shays-Meehan bill, which would curb "soft" money which individuals give to political parties rather than candidates. Most "soft" money is used to buy negative ads such as the racist "Willie Horton" ad that destroyed Michael Dukakis' presidential bid in 1988.

The GOP leadership is adamantly opposed to any curbs on right-wing corporate contributions. They count on this war chest to preserve their slender majority control of the House and Senate. They refused to schedule a floor debate or vote on the bill until 200 members signed a petition demanding it.  A vote on this and other campaign reform measures is expected in June.

These same GOP leaders are strong supporters of legislation by Sen. Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) to sharply curb labor political action committees (PACs). Hypocritically called "paycheck protection," the law would require unions to get written permission from their members for payroll deductions used for political campaigning. The anti-labor measure - revenge for the highly effective political action of the AFL-CIO in 1996 that removed many ultra-rightists from office - is on the June 2 California ballot as Proposition 226.

The National Association of Business PACs, the Christian Coalition, the National Rifle Association (NRA), and other right-wing outfits have launched a Capitol Hill blitz to block the Shays-Meehan bill. The NRA and the tobacco corporations are among the biggest contributors to the GOP and ultra-right candidates.

Steve Stockmeyer, chief lobbyist of the business PACs outfit, told a reporter they have asked corporate contributors to bombard Congress with messages demanding defeat of Shays-Meehan. "We're spending money to protect the right of 20 million Americans to participate in the political process in the way they choose," Stockmeyer said.

Rep. Shays retorted, "It's not a matter of their voices being denied. It's a matter of disclosure. The truth is, right now they can say outrageous things about anybody and they have no accountability."

Becky Cain, president of the League of Women Voters, told the World, "We had the most expensive election ever in 1996, a 73 percent increase in campaign spending and we had the lowest voter turnout since 1924. Money drives the system. The litmus test for candidates is their ability to raise money, not their ideas or their desire to represent their constituents."

Instead of going to Congress to represent their constituents, Cain charged, politicians "are forced to spend most of their time chasing the almighty dollar to pay for their reelection."

Campaign finance abuse is one of the nation's most serious problems, she said. "It also affects the outlook of citizens. They feel shut out by this great wall of money between themselves and their representatives."

The heavy emphasis on television ads is also replacing the personal style of campaigning. "We no longer have a stress on grassroots organizing, door-to-door canvassing or phonebanking in which candidates and their supporters speak directly to the people," Cain said.

Studies show that a registered voter is 22 times more likely to cast a ballot on Election Day if he has been personally contacted. "So far this year, the voter turnout in the primary elections has been running about 25 percent, which is abysmal," she said.

"It is something Congress can do when they return from recess," Cain said. "They can vote to approve the Shays-Meehan bill." At the same time, Cain said, the bill is no "silver bullet" and other reforms are needed to make government accountable to the people.

Robert Richie, executive director of the Center for Voting and Democracy, told the World his group, too, endorses the bill but warned that more basic changes are needed. He cited proportional representation, which would enable candidates of independent third parties to win election. "The winner-take-all system discourages voter participation because the candidates really don't care how many people turn out as long as they win," Richie said.

Under proportional representation, as contained in a bill introduced by Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.), seats in Congress would be allotted according to a party's share of the popular vote. Thus, even candidates and political parties that receive less than a majority vote could receive a share of the seats in the House and Senate.

From the people's Weekly World

http://www.hartford-hwp.com/cp-usa/pww.html

Sub info: pww@pww.org


Guest Editorial: The Real Rulers

Taken from the December 1996/January 1997 issue of The Council of Canadians Policy Alternatives (CCPA) Monitor.

Transnational corporations (TNCs) have now become so large and powerful that they have replaced nation-states as the defining power structures of the global economy. That stunning fact is well documented in a recent study by Sarah Anderson and John Cavanagh of the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies. Their findings raise deep concerns about the future of democracy.

Although the number of TNCs now exceeds 40,000, 200 giant corporations now control over one-quarter of the world's economic activity. Their combined sales surpass the combined economies of 182 countries.

Of the world's 100 largest economies, 51 are corporations. Wal-Mart is bigger than any of 161 countries, including Greece and Poland. General Motors is bigger than Denmark. Toyota is bigger than Norway.

The Top 200, with a combined revenue of $7.1 trillion, have twice the economic assets of the poorest four-fifths of humanity, whose combined income is only $3.9 trillion.

In spite of their enormous wealth and power, however, the Top 200 TNCs are net job destroyers. All together, they employ less than one-third of one one-hundredth of one percent of the world's people.

Corporate globalization continues to increase at a hectic pace. Foreign direct investment by TNCs is soaring--up 40% in 1995. Profits for the 500 largest TNCs rose a whopping 62% in 1994, and by another 15% in 1995.

The same story is unfolding in Canada, where corporate profits have risen by 95% in the last three years alone, while wages and salaries grew by only 8%. Yet corporations contribute less than 8% of all tax revenues in Canada.

The most profitable corporations are also the ones laying off the most workers. Five of the leading "downsizers"--General Motors, Ford, Alcan, Imasco and Ontario Hydro--are among the top ten in sales revenue.

Small wonder that the heads of state of the world's nations now come cap in hand each year to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to plead with the most powerful corporate leaders to favour their countries with investments. They are all too aware--even if they will not let their citizens in on the secret--that, while they may govern, they no longer rule.

Corporations rule

Corporations control world trade through binding free trade agreements that give them complete freedom to move across borders. They control the newly created World Trade Organization, which is in the process of replacing national laws on the environment, food, and intellectual property rights with global "voluntary" codes. The WTO is also determined to eliminate any remaining national barriers to foreign direct investment.

Governments everywhere, including those in Canada, are in full retreat from this corporate juggernaut. They have abandoned their citizens (although they call it "empowering" us) to deal with the TNCs individually, as if we could somehow confront these powerful corporations without government help.

That corporate rule has replaced democratic government rule is the single most important reality we now face. It will take great courage and common global action to challenge and overcome this monstrous threat to the well-being of the vast majority of humankind--and even to the planet itself.

(This guest editorial was written by Maude Barlow, national volunteer chairperson of the Council of Canadians.)

Taken from the December 1996/January 1997 issue of The CCPA Monitor.

http://www.policyalternatives.ca/articles/article72.html


But do bear in mind......

Carlos Fernandez 19Jul98

Articles about the richest persons are decepive. They calculate wealth in market values, not in the assets they control.  Rich means powerful. How can Bill Gates be the richest? When he needs money he goes to a bank.?

In my calculations the three richest persons in the world are Rothschild Yeltsin and Rockefeller. The stocks of investment bankers have a leverage of 20,000/1. They have trillions of dollars in assets.  An investment banker controls commecial banks with 5% in stocks owned and 46% in stocks controlled by his banks (with mutual funds and trust funds they manage).  The assets of banks are 25 times more than the market value of their stocks because the stocks of banks because they do not sell they do not have much value.  In Wall Street you do not buy power you buy dividends and capital gains 20[5%]X$25=$500.  But the assets of commercial banks are stocks of industrial corporations they control with 5% too.  So $500X20[5%]=$10,000 but the assets of industrial corporations are typically 2 times more than the market value of their stocks so $10,000X2=$20,000.  With one dollar market value an underwritter can control in an ideal case $20,000 of assets.  Rothschild (Shell) controls 15 trillions Yeltsin he does not sell his assets but he controls assets for a value of 12 trillions.  Rockefeller because a little better distribution here controls only 8 trillion.

For more see my page below History of Cuba:

Carlos Fernandez cubahistory@webtv.net

http://www.angelfire.com/fl/cubabrains/index.html


The Top 200 Corporations: Bigger Than Big

by Julia Lutsky

09Nov96 - People's Weekly World

The poorest 4.5 billion people on Earth - 80 percent of its inhabitants - together earn only a little more than half the amount earned from the sales made by the world's 200 largest corporations. So says the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in Washington, D.C., in its recent report, "The Top 200: The Rise of Global Corporate Power."

"Two hundred giant corporations, most of them larger than many national economies, now control well over a quarter of the world's economic activity," states the report written by Sarah Anderson and John Cavanagh.

"Philip Morris is larger than New Zealand and it operates in 170 countries ... The most alarming finding is that as corporate concentration has risen, corporate profits have soared, yet workers and communities are getting a shrinking piece of the growing pie."

The income of these corporations is growing both absolutely and as a proportion of the world's total Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 1982 world GDP was $12.6 trillion, of which sales of the 200 equaled a bit less than a quarter. By 1995 world GDP had doubled to $25.224 trillion; the sales of the top 200 had increased to more than 28 percent of world GDP.

Japan and the United States accounted for 115 of the companies in 1982 and 117 in 1995. In 1982 only 15 of them were headquartered in Japan. Today, however, 58 are headquartered there and account for 39 percent of the 200's total sales while the 59 U.S. firms generate only 28 percent of total sales.

Six of the top 10 companies in terms of sales - but not corporate profits - are based in Japan, three in the United States and one in South Korea. Ninety-three percent of the top 200 firms are based in only seven countries - the United States, Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Switzerland.  The total sales of these corporations exceeded one-quarter of the world's 1995 GDP. Only two developing countries, South Korea and Brazil, have firms in the top 200: Their six firms account for under 2 percent of the 200's total sales.

Of the 191 countries in the world in 1995 only 21 had economies which exceeded that of the largest corporation, Mitsubishi of Japan. Mitsubishi had sales of $184.5 billion, more than the GDP of Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous nation. In the Americas, only the United States, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and Argentina had GDPs greater than Mitsubishi's sales income. In fact, the income of each of the 20 largest global corporations exceeded the GDP of every country in Latin America except Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.

The 200 corporations represent but one half of one percent of the 40,000 firms whose operations extend beyond the boundaries of the nations in which they are headquartered. These 40,000 firms conduct their business through some 250,000 affiliates. When corporations establish branches in other countries to produce parts then sold back to the original firms - or to affiliates in still other countries - should this be considered trade? One-third of world trade is made of just such "sales and purchases." Forty percent of Japanese exports are to other branches of the parent firms.

If the leading corporations account for a quarter of the world's economic activity should they not also employ at least a quarter of the world's work force? That would total about 650 million people, according to U.N. figures cited by IPS. Actually, they employ only about 18.8 million, less than one percent of those workers. Only 118,000 people were employed in the 13 trading firms represented in the top 200.

This "industry" had greater sales - $1.216 trillion in 1995 - than any other industry represented. Automobiles, the second most profitable industry, employed more than 2.876 million people. Three of the 15 auto companies were U.S. corporations: General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, who employed 1.168 million between them. GM, with 709,000 employees, is the largest employer in the entire group of corporations.

Non-productive industry, i.e., the 63 trading, banking, insurance and finance firms, accounted for some $2.490 trillion in 1995 sales, 35 percent of the total sales of the 200, nearly 10 percent of world GDP. Five trading companies generated 12 percent of the entire 200's sales - 3 percent of world GDP. Telecommunications alone now accounts for $289 billion in sales annually - 1 percent of the world's economy.

But how much of that capital is available to the world's people? The poorest 85 percent of the world's population live in countries whose GDPs are less than $1,000 per person. By comparison, the GDP per person in the United States is around $25,000.

There is much ballyhoo that this is the era of the "information super highway." As we visit AT&T's and GTE's world-wide computer web sites, we should remember that more than 90 percent of the world's people do not have access to telephones. In the words of the IPS report, "the top 200 are creating a global apartheid, not a global village."

From the people's Weekly World

http://www.hartford-hwp.com/cp-usa/pww.html

Sub info: pww@pww.org


Businesses wealthier than many countries by R.C. Longworth

Chicago Tribune, Oct. 11, 1996

CHICAGO - The global economic power of giant companies has grown to the point that they have become bigger than most of the countries where they do business, a new study reveals.

Mitsubishi is bigger than Indonesia, Ford is bigger than Turkey and Wal-Mart is bigger than Israel, said the report from the Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington-based liberal think tank.

In fact, more than half of the 100 biggest economies in the world are corporations, not nations.  Taken together, the world's 200 biggest companies control no less than 28 percent of the globe's economic activity.

These companies are the powerhouses of globalization, which is weaving together the economies of the world's nations. Sailing before this tide, these firms are moving goods, money and jobs across national borders that become less important by the day.

Big countries, like the United States and Japan, are trying to cope with this new economic reality. Other countries, as the study made clear, are too small to do anything but try to stay afloat.

For most of them, the might of the big companies challenges their sovereignty and their ability to run their own economies. The global firms, by their nature, can go where wages are lowest, can move their money to minimize their taxes and can wring concessions from governments eager to create jobs.

The study, titled "The Top 200," was written by Sarah Anderson and John Cavanagh using statistics largely drawn from charts published by Forbes, the business magazine. It measured the companies' annual sales against the nations' gross domestic products.

The 21 biggest economies in the world still are countries, with the United States at the top, Japan second, Germany third and Sweden No. 21. From then on, the companies take over.

Two giant Japanese trading companies, Mitsubishi and Mitsui, are the 22nd and 23rd biggest economic powers in the world. Both have annual sales of more than $180 billion, bigger than the gross domestic product of Indonesia, in 24th place.

General Motors, with $168 billion in sales last year, ranked 26th, bigger than Denmark or Thailand. Ford Motor Co. was 31st, bigger than the four countries that come next - Hong Kong, Turkey, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.

Wal-Mart is 42nd. From its Arkansas base, the discount retailer had $93.6 billion in sales last year, which gives it more economic clout than Poland, Ukraine, Portugal, Israel or Greece.

Altogether, of the 100 biggest economies, 49 are countries and 51 are corporations.

Of the 10 biggest companies, five are Japanese, all trading companies that sell goods made by Japanese companies around the world and buy imports for the Japanese market. No other country except Korea has these big trading companies.

The survey's ranking actually understated the power of the largest Japanese companies by treating firms that belong to keiretsus, the Japanese industrial-banking-trading conglomerates, as separate entities.

For instance, Mitsubishi Trading Co. is the world's biggest company, Mitsubishi Motors is 48th, Mitsubishi Electric is 50th, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is 71st and Mitsubishi Chemical is 177th.  Taken together, these five branches of the Mitsubishi empire had total sales of nearly $306 billion, which would rank their keiretsu as the world's 16th-biggest economy - bigger than India, Argentina or Switzerland.

Adding other Mitsubishi branches not listed in the top 200 would only raise this ranking.

The survey said the top 200 are particularly powerful in five sectors - cars, banking, trading, retailing and electronics.

Overall, the top 200, with 28 percent of the world's economy, employ barely one-third of 1 percent of the world's workers, the survey said.

From: http://www.seattletimes.com/


4th Oct 96 - National Federal Lands Conference Charges Upcoming Elections To Serve Global Elite Rather Than Citizens - Salt Lake City

Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ - Congressional and Presidential elections in November will not decide our public servants, but rather the servants of the ruling global elite, according to a conservative national publication.

In the last of a two-part series in its October issue, the National Federal Lands Conference "Property Rights Update" takes aim at organizations in the United States and abroad that network with non-elected officials to trample constitutional guidelines in order to run a Metrocrat government.

"This form of governing is where federal revenue sharing and power pass through the hands of appointed officials at regional levels and then trickle down to the states and counties where elected officials have their hands out begging," said Ruth Kaiser, executive director of NFLC and author of the article.

Decisions that affect our laws and regulations are mostly made or influenced by powerful international organizations made up of heads of multinational business corporations, the Update stated, including oil companies such as Standard Oil of California, Texaco, Mobil, Atlantic Richfield, Shell, and Exxon; car companies such as General Motors, and Chrysler Corp.; media outlets such as CBS, NBC, ABC, Time-Warner and Times Mirror; major banks such as Bank of America, Nations Bank, First City Bank, , Bank de France, Mellon Bank, and others.

From these organizations come the super rich elite who do their planning and networking through a group of international organizations - including the Bilderberg Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Fabian Society, the Aspen Institute, The Club of Rome, the Skull and Cross Bones Club at Yale University, The Trilateral Commission, Freemasonry (33rd degree), The Bohemian Club, World Future Society, Conservation Bank, the World Economic Forum and others, the Update said.

"According to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), its purpose is to establish a new world order. Pushing for centralization and consolidation of governments, the stated plan is to control all monies, all land, all resources, all production facilities, and all peoples in America and the world!

The United Nations was the brain child of the CFR, for the purpose of directing and controlling the 'Foreign Affairs' of the United States and the world." For 40 years, approximately 80 percent of the past United States' presidents, vice presidents, presidents of the Senate and speakers of the House have been members of these organizations that are directing and attempting to control the United States and the world.

Also included are many environmental and civil rights leaders. Maurice Strong, chairman of the United Nations Environmental Programme, is a member of the World Economic Forum, a financial group which meets once each year to decide the future of the world's finances. Strong helped establish the World Conservation Bank, which is attempting to force poor Third World Countries, which are in debt to the World Bank and the U.S., to exchange their resource rich lands to the bankers for their enormous debts.

The objective is to transfer virtually all the world's lands to the control of the World Conservation Bank, enabling it to control global production of all oil, precious metals, timber, precious gems and crop lands, according to the Update. Strong said it was the goal of these groups to destroy industrialized civilization; that means Western Culture. "Christianity is the center of Western Culture," Kaiser said. "Destroy Christianity and our whole way of life, our laws, our relationships to one another, our humanity will disappear.

One hundred million Americans in 53,000 congregations are the target of "The National Religious Partnership for the Environment." Environmental groups are largely financed by multinational organizations to help bring about control of all lands, the Update said.

The Biodiversity Treaty has already been ratified by 130 nations. Although the U.S. did not ratify the Treaty, President Clinton established the President's Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD), which has been unconstitutionally and illegally implementing the elements of the Treaty through the bureaucratic branches of the executive arm of the federal government.

Statements recently made by Secretary of State Warren Christopher and others indicate that, if re-elected, the Clinton administration will push for adoption of the Treaty on Child's Rights, a global tax, and a UN peace keeping force in order to bring the U.S. "into global governance - under the direction of the Secretary General." The NFLC questions why union officials have been dispatched from Washington, D.C. to work against the election of certain congressional candidates.

The October "Property Rights Update" encourages its readers to work to get good constitutional candidates elected, and to push to re-establish their counties as constitutional counties.

Copies of the NFLC "Property Rights Update" may be obtained from the National Federal Lands Conference, P.0. Box 847, Bountiful, UT. 84011-0847, or by calling 801-298-0858.

SOURCE National Federal Lands Conference -0-10/4/96

CONTACT: Ruth Kaiser of NFLC, 801-298-0858/.

UNITED STATES 4/10/96


Stereolab

Mars Audiac Quintet

Ping Pong

it's alright 'cos the historical pattern has shown
how the economical cycle tends to revolve
in a round of decades three stages stand out in a loop
a slump and war then peel back to square one and back for more

bigger slump and bigger wars and a smaller recovery
huger slump and greater wars and a shallower recovery

you see the recovery always comes 'round again
there's nothing to worry for things will look after themselves
it's alright recovery always comes 'round again
there's nothing to worry - things can only get better

there's only millions that lose their jobs
and homes and sometimes accents
there's only millions that die in their bloody wars,
it's alright

it's only their lives and the lives of their next of kin
that they are losing
it's only their lives and the lives of their next of kin
that they are losing

it's alright 'cos the historical pattern has shown
how the economical cycle tends to revolve
in a round of decades three stages stand out in a loop
a slump and war then peel back to square one and back for more

bigger slump and bigger wars and a smaller recovery
huger slump and greater wars and a shallower recovery

don't worry be happy things will get better naturally
don't worry shut up sit down go with it and be happy

dum, dum, dum, de dum dum, de duh de duh de dum dum dum... ah ah
dum, dum, dum, de dum dum, de duh de duh de dum dum dum... ah ah


Beam me up Rocky or let's Try-lateral thinking

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