Tracking top firms, WTC analysis <nettime>

kelley kwalker2 at
Tue Sep 18 14:12:13 PDT 2001

------ Forwarded Message From: Paco Nathan <paco at> Organization: Famous Aspect, Inc. Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 20:49:48 -0500 To: ceteri at Subject: press release - Tracking top firms, WTC analysis FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Ceteri Institute

attn: Paco Nathan <paco at>

+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 damage.

* 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

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