The big companies..
behind the scenes...
There are large companies in the world that are household names. This image is a good example:
Similar to this, another image for the media and digital landscape:
Today I want to highlight a few names that are huge but often hidden behind the scenes — not household names like CocaCola and Amazon. The point here is not to paint a picture of big bad corporations but to understand these actors better.
Vitol (2021 revenue 279 billion USD)) is the biggest energy trading company in the world — that you probably never heard of. I didn’t until a few days ago while reading “The World for Sale: Money, Power, and the Traders Who Barter the Earth's Resources” by Javier Blas and Jack Farchy
Here’s a quote from Vitol’s website,
“Vitol sits at the heart of the world’s energy markets, serving as a high-volume, cost-efficient intermediary between producers and consumers.”
One of the biggest commodity trading (read “natural resources”) company (2021 revenue was 203.8 billion USD).
Here is a quote from their website:
On 24 May 2022, Glencore announced resolutions with authorities in the United States, the United Kingdom and Brazil to resolve investigations into past practices at certain Group businesses.
In other words, from the U.S department of Justice website:
Glencore International A.G. (Glencore) and Glencore Ltd., both part of a multi-national commodity trading and mining firm headquartered in Switzerland, each pleaded guilty today and agreed to pay over $1.1 billion to resolve the government’s investigations into violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and a commodity price manipulation scheme.
You thought facebook, google, and amazon are evil? Check these links:
How A 'Deviant' Philosopher Built Palantir, A CIA-Funded Data-Mining Juggernaut (Forbes, 2013)
How Palantir will steal the NHS: A recent article by Cory Doctorow. In Dec 2020, Palantir got a £23.5m no-bid contract to manage NHS patient data. Btw, the name has something to do with The Lord of the Rings.
That includes the NHS, where Palantir has been jockeying for an ever-larger slice of the health service's private procurements. But the company's reputation has preceded it, and even NHS commissioners understand that they risk public outrage if they sign over the NHS to a notorious private-sector surveillance company.
Palantir has a solution. The company has effectively unlimited access to the capital markets, as well as to its deep-pocketed founder Peter Thiel, a cartoon villain who's written that women shouldn't be allowed to vote and that democracy and freedom are incompatible.
They are the biggest data brokers (like Vitol, but for data).
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