7 Oct 2023

Assets of the Forbes Global 2000 : $170 trillion held by the Financial Sector

Back in June, I posted an analysis of the Assets held by the companies belonging to the Forbes Global 2000 biggest companies in the world. I had noted that together they held over $231 trillion of assets.  I also noted that virtually all the top 100 in the list were Banks (the first non-bank is the Saudi Arabian Oil  Corporation that comes in at number 62).

More recently, I downloaded a version of the Forbes dataset produced by Databahn that you can find here. One of the nice things about Databahn's version is that they assign each of the companies to 39 particular Industrial Sectors, and this allowed me to select those that belong to the Financial and Banking Sector. I ended up regrouping several of them which seemed to refer to the same sort of thing (Banks, Banking, Banking and Financial Services, Banking and Finance, Insurance....). 

You can see the result of this analysis in the following table. 

As you can see, the 538 different companies corresponding to the financial sector hold over $170 trillion in assets, corresponding to nearly three quarters of the total (73.53%). 

You can look at the other sectors, but none of them exceed 3% of the total. They are essentially all very minor. Even huge companies like Amazon (#87 on the list) only hold 0.2% of the total. 

You may know that I see a very simple way to finance all sorts of wonderful things. Just get all asset holders to pay 1% or less of our net assets into a big pot controlled by the United Nations. That pot could be used to fix climate change, end poverty and starvation, educate everyone, etc etc etc. 

To be fair, I would also be happy to pay 1% of the value of my assets too. Personally, I would be happy to do that if the 568 financial corporations that are in the Forbes Global 2000 coughed up $1.7 trillion a year. And that's just the 568 that made it onto the Forbes list. According to the InvestGuiding website, there are 44,000 banks and credit unions around the world. Anyone like to guess the total value of all their assets?

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