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Every company that was designed for success in the twentieth century is designed to fail in the twenty-first century. Salim Ismail, author Exponential Organizations
They [company/corporation] cannot commit treason, nor be outlawed, nor excommunicate, for they have no souls. Edward Coke, The Reports of Sir Edward Coke, 1658
Gates of course was the co-founder and CEO of Microsoft, the most important and fantastically profitable hi-tech company of them all. Over the course of two decades Microsoft had established a near monopoly over PC operating system. Download: The True Story of the Internet, Science 2008
Google has come further and faster than any company ever before. ibid.
The age of e-commerce ... The early success of Amazon and ebay didn’t go unnoticed on Wall Street. ibid.
ebay stocks soared that first day. At the end of it the company was now valued at more than two billion dollars. ibid.
The furore over the Napster/Metallica War boosted Napster’s popularity even more. Its user base was exploding. ibid.
If I had not already been a socialist, the astonishing events at the Daily Mirror in the last few days would have quickly made me one. They are calling the Maxwell Robbery the greatest financial scandal of all time.
He robbed some £300 million from the workers at the Mirror, either from their company or from their pension fund.
All around there is a great tut-tutting. Newspapers which only weeks ago were describing Maxwell as a ‘swashbuckling buccaneer’ now fall over one another to denounce him for what he was – a revolting crook. Nowhere is the embarrassment greater than in the City.
In 1971 a distinguished lawyer and a distinguished accountant declared after a careful examination of Maxwell’s relations with a company called Leasco that Maxwell was not fit to chair a public company.
In the early 1980s Maxwell became chairman of one of the biggest public companies in the country, the British Printing Corporation.
In July 1984, on what we on the Mirror called Black Friday, he became chairman of the Mirror Group of Newspapers – which ran five national newspapers with a combined circulation of four million copies every weekday and six million every Sunday. How could this happen? Paul Foot, article 1991, ‘They All Knew He Was a Crook’
This crime is still popular today – it’s called a long-firm fraud. The Underworld: Getting Away With Murder, 1994
North of the river resentment was brewing: the Krays’ long-firm frauds were much less successful. ibid.
The main architect of the frauds was Jack Duval. He built a pyramid of shady companies. ibid.
The greatest company the world has ever known. Dan Snow, The Birth of Empire: The East India Company I, BBC 2014
Massive government bail-out ... it was decided that the East India Company was too big to fail. ibid.
Valhalla, Mr Beale. Please sit down. You have meddled with the primal forces of Nature, Mr Beale. And I won’t have it. Is that clear? You think you’ve merely stopped a business deal? That is not the case. The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back! It is ebb and flow. Tidal gravity. It is ecological balance. You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system out of systems. One vast and immune interwoven, interacting, multi-variant, multinational dominion of Dollars. Petro Dollars. Electro Dollars. Multi dollars. Reichmarks. Rins, Rubles, Pounds and Shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today. And you have meddled with the primal forces of Nature! And you will atone! Am I getting through to you, Mr Beal? You get up on your little twenty-one-inch screen and howl about America and Democracy. There is no America. There is no Democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state – Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr Beal. The world is a college of corporations inexorably determined by the immutable by-laws of business. The world is a business, Mr Beal. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr Beale, to see that perfect world in which there in no war or famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company for whom all men will work to serve a common purpose. In which all men will hold a share of stock. All necessities provided. All anxieties tranquillized. All boredom amused. Network 1976 Network starring Faye Dunaway & Peter Finch & William Holden & Robert Duvall & Wesley Addy & Ned Beatty & Beatrice Straight & Jordan Charney & William Prince & Lane Smith & Marlene Warfield & Arthur Burghardt, director Sidney Lumet, Jensen to Beale
By the start of the twenty-first century these two factors – the power of leverage and low taxes for enterprise – gave birth to a new set of business superpowers; among them are the private equity money who borrow huge sums of money to buy whole companies. Robert Peston, Super Rich: The Greed Game
The market matches demand and supply better than the planners do. It responds more easily to changing fashions and needs. It is rather good at getting rid of unsuccessful enterprises. Shirley Williams, Politics is for People
We look at the businesses and businessmen looking to take over our public services ... A handful of companies are set to make a fortune out of the spending cuts. Dispatches: Britain’s Secret Fat Cats, Channel 4 2011
Ordinary people are feeling the squeeze, but not the men whose companies are taking over the public sector. ibid.
We’re handing over significant chunks of our public services to private companies. And we the taxpayer are paying for those services. But we have absolutely no say in what those companies pay to their chief executives. ibid.
The truth is shareholders have shown little appetite in holding companies to account over the amounts they pay their chief executives. ibid.
Questions have been raised about the process by which some outsourcing companies are awarded contracts. They often hire former government employees to work for them. ibid.
Power is shifting – not to individuals, but to big business. ibid.
Some of the owner men were kind because they hated what they had to do, and some of them were angry because they hated to be cruel, and some of them were cold because they had long ago found that one could not be an owner unless one were cold. And all of them were caught in something larger than themselves. Some of them hated the mathematics that drove them, and some were afraid, and some worshiped the mathematics because it provided a refuge from thought and from feeling. If a bank or a finance company owned the land, the owner man said, The Bank – or the Company – needs – wants – insists – must have – as though the Bank or the Company were a monster, with thought and feeling, which had ensnared them. These last would take no responsibility for the banks or the companies because they were men and slaves, while the banks were machines and masters all at the same time. Some of the owner men were a little proud to be slaves to such cold and powerful masters. The owner men sat in the cars and explained. You know the land is poor. You’ve scrabbled at it long enough, God knows. John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
When you say fiscal responsibility, it seems to me that you really mean rich people keeping their money. Alice Adams
Business knows no pity, and cares for justice only when justice is seen to be better policy. If it had power to control the elements, it would grasp in its iron clutches the waters, sunshine and air and resell them by measure, and at exorbitant prices to the millions of famished men, women and children. W A Duncan, cited Cherokee Advocate 1892
The United Mine Workers of America staged a fourteen-month strike against the Rockefeller company. An assault on the striking coal miners was ordered on April 20th 1914. The Secret Plan of the New World Order
Our country has been ravaged and stolen by industrial pirates and yet, learned judges have decreed that it was ‘legal’ ... Whatever the king has done, the courtiers have most humbly considered right and the guards and men-at-arms been ready to see that the slaves did not rebel against it all. Joseph Ettor, IWW organizer, Industrial Unionism: The Road to Freedom