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<nettime> Tracking top firms, WTC analysis
Bruce Sterling on Tue, 18 Sep 2001 10:44:19 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Tracking top firms, WTC analysis

------ Forwarded Message
From: Paco Nathan <paco {AT} famous.aspect.to>
Organization: Famous Aspect, Inc.
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 20:49:48 -0500
To: ceteri {AT} famous.aspect.to
Subject: press release - Tracking top firms, WTC analysis


  Ceteri Institute

  attn: Paco Nathan <paco {AT} famous.aspect.to>
  +1 512 773 8546

Austin, Texas / 17 September 02001 -- A new research tool for analyzing
the general form of transnational corporations has been developed by the
Ceteri Institute and made available to the public at:


This listing (called the "Ceteri100") tracks top transnational firms in
the world.  Features include a capsule for each firm, a 3D Java applet
for data visualization, and an annotated bibliography of data sources
used.  Listings include corporate identity, web sites, company
histories, oldest constituent business units, as well as links to stock
ticker, current news headlines, and social critique.  The data is
published as an XML database.

Selection for firms to be included in this list is based on their annual
revenue -- in keeping with other similar lists, such as Fortune's
"Global 1000".  While some financial directories of transnational firms
select based on market capitalization or assets (e.g., the FTSE
Multinational Index) such estimators tend to be less stable and more
biased over time.  

Most of the firms currently listed in the "Ceteri100" are public, though
a few large private or governmental corporations (i.e., those with
excess of us$50 billion in annual revenues -- USPS, PDSVA, Nippon Life,
etc.) have been included for contrast.  Parameters for analysis by the
Ceteri Institute also pertain to non-profits with large annual
revenues/donations, such as PACs and some NGOs which front for corporate
lobbying efforts and international economic development, respectively.
Disclosure by non-profit entities is limited, and their tracking to-date
with respect to social critique is less available, though an ongoing
research project at the Ceteri Institute is currently cataloguing such
firms as well.  In light of last week's events, a decision was made to
accelerate this project, making it publicly available prior to including
analysis of non-profits.

Of particular note is the use of a metric to study the relative damage
sustained during the WTC/Pentagon explosions last week.  This metric was
compiled from financial news wires throughout the proceeding week, based
on three criteria: primary -- direct hit on substantive business
operations; secondary -- disruption of infrastructure and long term
business operations; tertiary -- financial impact, including immediate
earnings forecast revisions and long term profit outlooks.

With respect to last week's events, it is interesting to note several
summaries which are especially apparent from 3D data visualization:

  * Firms with relatively more employees and more shareholder equity
tended to take less damage.

  * Older firms or those with relatively more assets tended to take more

  * Firms with relatively less assets tended to take less damage and may
tend to realize subsequent profits.

  * Of the financial firms listed among the world's largest, 9 of 13
either had direct hits during the explosions or were insurers for the
properties and businesses involved.

  * Worst hit among the world's largest firms included:

    J.P. Morgan Chase
    General Electric Company
    The Boeing Company
    Mizuho Holdings
    Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A.
    Bank of America Corporation
    Verizon Communications
    Deutsche Bank AG
    Allianz AG

Again, these summaries have been derived from cluster analysis of the
transnational firms with the highest annual revenues.  Most of these top
firms emerge from only a few select industries: automotive, energy,
finance, technology, retail, and telecom.  In general, finance suffered
while energy may benefit.

Nearly one third of the world's top firms (16 of 51) are based in Japan,
which overall tends to enjoy good relations with Islamic countries.
With the exception of the financial giant Mizuho Holdings -- and to a
lesser extent Itochu Corporation and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. -- Japan fared
relatively well.  However, Japanese firms will likely suffer substantial
secondary effects that further delay a regional economic recovery.

A generalization of events with respect purely to the impact on
transnational corporations is that those engaged in investment banking
and the industrial basis for the defense sector suffered or will suffer,
relatively speaking, more than other commercial interests.  Financial
firms especially tended to be ones engaged in ethically controversial
global economic development.  The loss of civil life represents a
terrible tragedy; however, from the perspective of analyzing
transnationals, the aftermath of the explosions signifies an arguably
meticulous infrastructure hit on the respective nerve centers for
military and economic warfare conducted against the Third World from
which many American and European firms have profited over time.


The Ceteri Institute is a private research group, focused on the
analysis of transnational corporations, and sponsored by:

    Famous Aspect, Inc.
    7301 Burnet Rd, Suite 102-211
    Austin TX USA 78757

For more information, see http://famous.aspect.to/study/ceteri/

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