Fortunes Made, Fortunes Lost The Great Shift of '09

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by Ian Mathias: Sell
Gold, Then Buy It

Every once
in a while, we stumble upon a chart or table that says it all…
here’s one hot off the press:

Oh my, where
do we begin? This beast calls for bullet points:

  • Obviously,
    Wal-Mart is no longer No. 1. That title now goes to Royal Dutch
    Shell. The American consumer is out, and a global oil conglomerate
    is in… ’nuff said
  • There’s
    a clear sea change in American business. AIG, Lehman and Bear
    Stearns fell off the list from 2008–2009.

    Nike, Google and Amazon moved up

  • The world
    is increasingly less Amero-centric. An American company is not
    No. 1 for the first time in over a decade. In the whole list for
    2009, 140 companies are American, the lowest number on record
  • The world
    is increasingly more Sino-centric. Look at China National Petroleum
    and Sinopec. Both Chinese companies are by far the biggest movers
    up from 2008–2009. Sinopec, an oil and gas company, also
    marks China’s first foray into Fortunes’ top 10. China
    now has 37 companies in the list of 500, its largest presence
  • Oil is
    still where it’s at. In spite of all the price drama over
    the last year, seven of the top 10 firms are oil companies
  • In the
    face of the worst global economic environment of our lifetimes,
    the world’s biggest companies are still making lots of money.
    The 2008 top 25 pulled in $4.88 trillion in revenue. This year,
    they made $5.38 trillion
  • And freakin’
    GE… what a black box. The world’s producer of everything
    was one of very few companies to retain the same position from
    2008–2009. And despite the infamous GE Capital, the finance
    arm that apparently threatened to torpedo the whole company, GE
    ended up increasing revenues by nearly $7 billion. Hmmm…

11, 2009

Ian Mathias
is managing editor of The
5 Min. Forecast
Since working for Agora Financial, respected media outlets including, the Associated Press, Yahoo, and MSN Money have syndicated
his writing. He received his BA from Loyola College in Maryland
and is currently studying writing at the graduate level.

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