Professor Peter Phillips wrote that in 2017 there were 17 global financial conglomerates, with 199 directors, in a self-investing network that spans the globe. 117 of these directors were in the USA. And 12 of these super-connected conglomerates had representatives in the Group of 30 and the Trilateral Commission.
The Group of 30 issues instructions on global financial policy. But, said Feisal Mansoor, it is the global financial system that is causing the problem with goods reaching the people who need them at a price they can afford. In other words, it is the global financial system these few organisations are devising that causes inequality in the world.
Mansoor is a Sri Lankan who spent more than 20 years as a systems analyst and programmer until he burnt out in 1992. He resolved never to work for money again, while at the same time beginning a study of money and how it is created and disbursed. In a presentation to the World Council of Health, Mansoor spoke about valuing work in the 21st century. Below we look at some aspects he raised in the first half of his presentation. You can watch his 46-minute presentation on Rumble HERE or YouTube HERE.
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17 Global Financial Conglomerates
Peter Phillips, a professor of political sociology at Sonoma State University, published a book in 2018 titled ‘Giants: The Global Power Elite’. In it, he detailed exactly who the new “power elite” are and, more important, how they collude to ensure control over the global capitalist marketplace.
Phillips identifies the super-super-rich as the multibillionaires who are part of the global “Transnational Capitalist Class.” In 2017 they included Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett. “These billionaires are similar to colonial plantation owners,” he writes. What makes Phillips’ exhaustive research more rewarding, if not scarier, is the level to which the new power elite collaborate and socialise with each other. Put simply, they all are wealthy and have significant stock holdings in one or more of each other’s operations.
Phillips identified 17 global financial conglomerates that collectively manage $41.4 trillion in a self-investing network that spans the globe. In his presentation to the World Council for Health, Mansoor showed a complete list of these 17 top asset management firms (timestamp 3:22). The first on the list are BlackRock, Vanguard Group and JP Morgan Chase. The 17 organisations together control “41.1 trillion dollars’ worth of assets which constitutes at least 60% of global trade,” Mansoor said during an assembly of the World Council for Health.
“These 17 giants of capitalism that collectively manage this concentration of $41.1 trillion operate in nearly every country. They are the central institutions of the financial capital that power the global economic system. Western governments and international policy bodies tend to work in the interests of these financial giants to protect the free flow of capital investment and ensure debt collection everywhere in the world,” Mansoor said.
In 2011, a Swiss study titled ‘The Network of Global Corporate Control’ found that 147 companies in Europe controlled 40% of the world’s wealth. Mansoor explained that Prof. Phillips found 15 of the top 17 asset management firms he had identified were among the top 27 most centralised firms identified in the Swiss study, and 9 were among the top 10 super-connected firms.
During a 2013 interview, World Bank whistle-blower Karen Hudes referred to this Swiss study. The global elite doesn’t just control these mega-corporations, according to Hudes, they also dominate the unelected, unaccountable organisations that control the finances of virtually every nation on the face of the planet. The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and central banks such as the Federal Reserve literally control the creation and the flow of money worldwide.
Others confirm the existence of a small group of oligarchs pulling the strings behind the scenes. In a 2008 interview, John Perkins described the concept of corporatocracy. “Corporatocracy is this group of individuals who run our biggest corporations and they really act as the Emperor of this Empire,” Perkins said. And last year, Philippe Argillier said there were 38 individuals behind the shadow government who “run the daily lives of 8 billion people on Earth.”
At the time Prof. Phillips wrote his book, that is 2017, the 17 global financial conglomerates had 199 directors on their boards. These 199 individuals represent the financial management core of global capitalism:
- 117 are from the USA;
- 22 each from UK and France;
- 3 each from Germany and Switzerland;
- 3 each from Italy, Singapore, India and Austria;
- 2 each from Japan and Brazil; and,
- 1 each from South Africa, the Netherlands, Zambia, Kuwait, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, Qatar and Columbia.
The Group of 30
The G-30 is a ‘club’ in the transnational policy community. Clubs are held together by elite peer recognition, common and mutually reinforcing interests and an ambition to provide global goods in line with values its members consider honourable.Club governance and the making of global financial rules, Review of International Political Economy, Eleni Tsingou (2015)
Prof. Phillips identified a combined 86 individuals in the Group of 30 (“G-30”) and the Trilateral Commission – 12 of the 17 Giants have representation in these privately funded non-profit organisations. The G-30, founded in 1978, releases reports and findings from studies made by powerful elite bankers, financiers, policymakers and academics. Its findings are usually accepted and implemented across the globe. Andrew Gavin Marshall noted in his 2013 exposé of the G-30 that “they don’t produce mere ‘recommendations’, but rather ‘instructions’ which they expect to be followed.”
Marshall was referring to a report the G-30 published in 2012. The report was compiled by the Working Group on Long-term Finance, which was composed of nearly two-thirds of the membership of the G-30. “It is of significance that many of those who produced the report and who are members of the G30 conveniently hold an official position so as to be able to dutifully implement those instructions,” Marshall wrote.
[The report noted] that the world’s major economies would be continuing to undergo austerity measures – or “fiscal consolidation” programs – over the “medium-term,” the ability of governments to make investments would be heavily restrained. Thus, “the private sector will need to be mobilised to fill the gap.” In other words, so-called “public-private partnerships” become the route to go, to ensure that corporations and banks reap massive profits, subsidised by governments.
The report noted some “ideal candidates” to manage long-term financing, such as pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, endowments and foundations.Global Power Project: The Group of Thirty and Its Methods of Financial Governance, Andrew Gavin Marshall, 12 April 2013
In 2017, Prof. Phillips noted that of the 32 policy directors of the G-30, 12 were from the US (one of which is a dual Israeli nationality), 3 were from France (one of which is a dual Ivory Coast nationality), 2 are UK peers in the House of Lords, 2 each from Germany and Mexico, and 1 each from Poland, Canada, Spain, Argentina, Italy, Brazil, Switzerland, Japan, India, Singapore and China.
Currently, the G-30 has 44 members, including Augustin Carstens the General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements and Mario Draghi former Prime Minister of Italy and former President of the European Central Bank. In 2012 the EU ombudsman launched an enquiry on Mario Draghi’s membership of the G-30 and another enquiry in 2017 but in 2018 it was announced his membership was compatible with the European Central Bank. On 1 December 2022, Mark Carney, former Governor of the Bank of England and Bank of Canada, became the chair of the G-30.
Further reading: The Group of Thirty might finally end its scandalous existence, 23 January 2017
The Problems Caused by the Current Financial System
Money has only one societal function of necessity, said Mansoor, and that is as legal tender: currency in which the state accepts taxes. Citizens are not bound to exchange goods and services between themselves exclusively in “legal tender.”
What Mansoor means by this can be explained by an analogy. If you have a house and agree with someone to exchange it for their car, you are free to do so and no one can stop you. The money value, or legal tender, is taken into consideration when taxing the transaction. To be able to charge tax a monetary value is assigned and tax payable is calculated on that value. So ‘legal tender” has created a cause and effect, which has been perverted into a system of reward and punishment. And the concept of rewards and punishment is closely related to value. This is what Mansoor refers to as the “abstract nature of money creation” or the “abstracted financial system.”
“We’re a technological society producing all these goods and services but our global financial system will not allow us to distribute those goods and services to people who will willingly consume them,” Mansoor said. “The central bank administered global financial system is unable to distribute its goods and services to willing customers.” He believes that it is the global financial system that is causing the problem with goods reaching the people who need them at a price they can afford:
It’s perhaps more obvious now than it has ever been that we can produce goods and services at a rate considerably greater than the possible rate of consumption of the world and that this production and distribution may be achieved with a fraction of the available labour.
It is equally clear that despite this huge potential reservoir of goods and services, the larger proportion of society is unable to get them. It is clear then that the gap between demand and supply has little to do with the ability of production and industrial system to answer the calls of need, but all to do with the organisation which stands between them, the abstracted financial system.Valuing Work in the 21st Century, Feisal Mansoor (timestamp 22:13)
Mansoor proposes that the solution is to change the basis of how value is measured from a centralised “legal tender” to one that recognises energy as the basis for calculating value. In this way, local products and services will be cheapest where they are produced because the energy required to transport goods, for example, would add value, or cost. He believes this will encourage local economies to grow according to the needs of the local community. Some form of accounting for the value would still be required but again this would be a local solution. For example, a local currency for that town or region and whether that be in the form of electronic currency or tangible notes depends on what suits the people within that region best.
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