OpenCorporates

Interesting visualization:

These maps show the corporate networks of the top six banks in the USA. Each dot represents a company, and each line shows where a company controls another company. A "corporate network", therefore, is a network of control, with a single corporation at the top of the tree, ultimately controlling all the companies beneath it.

We have grouped together companies that are in the same country, in the shape of that country. This gives you an idea of the size of the corporate network, and how it is structured. By comparing different corporate networks, you can see where and how different companies operate.

If you want to understand how complex multinational companies are, consider this.

In Hong Kong, there's a company called Goldman Sachs Structured Products (Asia) Limited. It's controlled by another company called Goldman Sachs (Asia) Finance, registered in Mauritius.

That's controlled by a company in Hong Kong, which is controlled by a company in New York, which is controlled by a company in Delaware, and that company is controlled by another company in Delaware called GS Holdings (Delaware) L.L.C. II.

...Which itself is a subsidiary of the only Goldman you're likely to have heard of, The Goldman Sachs Group in New York City.

That's only one of hundreds of such chains. All told, Goldman Sachs consists of more than 4000 separate corporate entities all over the world, some of which are around ten layers of control below the New York HQ.

Of those companies approximately a third are registered in nations that might be described as tax havens.Indeed, in the world of Goldman Sachs, the Cayman Islands are bigger than South America, and Mauritius is bigger than Africa.

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13 Responses:

  1. Edouard says:

    Huh, New Zealand is weirdly over-represented in Goldman Sachs world (and not in any of the other banks networks). I wonder what is going on there?

  2. Anon says:

    Wow. Got a strong Stross vibe to it.

  3. Joseph Ruff says:

    Where does this data come from? Is it possible that there are lines of control which are secret?

  4. Joe Crawford says:

    Tracy: So GE will produce the Tracy Jordan Meat Machine?
    Jack: Oh no, no. GE could never make something so... unique. We'll have to pass this off to one of our subsidiaries. [Jack rolls down a complex organizational chart ] You see, GE owns KitchenAll of Colorado, which in turn owns JMI of Stamford which is a majority shareholder of Pokerfastlane.com which recently acquired the Sheinhardt Wig Company which owns NBC outright. NBC owns Winnipeg Iron Works which owns the AHP Chanagi Party Meats company of Pyongyang, North Korea, and they will make the Meat Machine.

  5. Aaron says:

    Oh, hey, I've played this game before.

  6. H0W much wud might cud have the mankind saved... if it.. the Pangea.. ddint crack appart. OK.. from ur (cr)map.. The Entire Africa is invisible.. and the America is wide big ass belly bottom. What if.. there is no oil (petroleum) in ur ass.. :)

    What a kind of a map is that... is it the CO2 map...? or some anti-china map.. american supermacy-shit map...

    And.. where is muy sub-continent...? :)

    drunk.. but clicking the 'Post Comment' anyffffingway...

  7. Jesper says:

    Grim meathook present.

  8. Ronan Waide says:

    I keep having jarring cognitive dissonance when told I'm living in a tax haven. I tend to associate palm-shrouded beaches and constant sunshine with the phrase (for no good reason other than the Caymans, I guess) and that sort of thing doesn't exactly occur here.

    Also I sure as hell pay enough tax.

    • Jesper says:

      Are you the subsidiary of a multinational corporation? They're usually the ones for which an area is a tax haven.

      • Ronan Waide says:

        Arguably yes, I am indeed a subsidiary of a multinational company, since I work for one. No tax breaks for minions, alas.

        • Jesper says:

          And you think the solution is that you should be given a tax break too, rather than that the multinational company shouldn't?