Staggering increases in the concentration of wealth, with profits doubling in ten years, mean that some multinationals are richer than many states. This is the reason for the image with the inscription 'Eat the rich' on the cover of the 13th edition of 'Top200', the annual report on the financial data of the main multinationals for 2022 edited by the New Development Model Centre: a tin of food with a drawing of a rich man cooked over a fire.
The provocative motto recalls a famous phrase by Jean-Jacques Rousseau: “When the people have no more to eat, then they will eat the rich.” It is therefore clear on whose side those who prepared the dossier are taking.
Multinationals' profits doubled in ten years
On the merits, this is - as in previous editions - a timely study, both because the data reported gives a precise picture of the wealth of multinational companies, and because of the topicality of the issue in a world with enormous inequalities.
62 multinationals in the USA, 61 in China, 3 in Italy
The subtitle - "the growth of the power of multinationals" - summarises the result that emerges from the report. First of all, the profits of the top 200 international companies have doubled in ten years, from 1,089 to 2,054 billion dollars.
In the ranking of the 'top 200' companies we find 62 multinationals with headquarters in the USA and 61 in China, which together account for 64.1% of the turnover: USD 17,770 billion out of a total of USD 27,722 billion. In third place is Japan with 18 companies and in twelfth place Italy with three companies (Assicurazioni Generali, Eni and Enel).
The balance sheets of multinationals and those of states
Very significant for understanding the corporations’ power is the ranking comparison between the income of states and the turnover of multinationals. In first place is the USA with 8,010 billion dollars in revenue, in tenth place we find India with 682 billion, followed by the first of the multinationals - Walmart - with a turnover of 611 billion. In this hybrid ranking (states and multinationals together), there are 72 multinationals in the top 100 places.
In addition to numerous rankings of the world's top 200 companies, the dossier contains four in-depth focuses on public financing of private companies, the business of companies producing entertainment programmes, the growth of private individuals in the health sector, and the presence of mercenaries in theatres of war around the world. These four focuses represent the most topical and original part of the report. Not to be missed.