• 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
    and AgoraFinancial.com.
    Since working for Agora Financial, respected media outlets including
    Forbes.com, 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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