The strategic value for a country to have a large number of multinationals among the largest in the world is evident. As the former US Secretary of Defense Charles Wilson said in 1953; “What is good for General Motors [had been manager at the company] it is good for the United States”. The geopolitical importance remains as a very clue factor or more now than then. Multinationals have a high value because they help to project the image, financial capacity, and the country’s influence. This is especially true in sectors such as energy, infrastructure and financial services. Furthermore, it should have the “Location effect”. Although multinational corporations with a presence throughout the world, the fact is, that their activities are more heavily on added value are performed in the country of origin where they are headquartered and where, therefore, there are higher quality jobs, which is beneficial to the US economy in this case, with Silicone Valley as the new technological center.
The problem is that it is not easy to have leading companies. The volatility in the composition of the list of 100 largest companies in the world is increasing. A decade ago it was unthinkable that companies with just one or two years of life on stock top positions, today it is a reality in cases like Facebook or Alibaba. Furthermore, management failures are penalized mercilessly and leading companies a few years ago as Gazprom or Nokia have left the list. The ups and downs in the standings are now more pronounced because the global economy is unforgiving. The market capitalization reflect investor expectations and as a company ceases to have growth expectations or doubts arise about its management, stocks low, because capital is directed elsewhere. The most recent case we have seen is Volkswagen.
Since 1993 only two companies manage to stay in the top ten ranking: Exxon Mobil and General Electric. The first is heir to the oil cartel of the Seven Sisters. For its part, the industrial conglomerate is unique on Wall Street because of its commitment to stability in management. In three decades has only had two CEOs Jack Welch and Jeff Immelt. The latter remains in office despite premiere could not be worse: two days after taking office two airplanes powered by engines manufactured by his company knocked down the Twin Towers.
The US Government knows about the importance to have the biggest corporations established in the country. Some big corporations are bigger in terms of revenue than small countries GDP. That gives us some perspective of how powerful corporations can be. They move billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of people… maybe millions…