[OPE-L] Centralization of capital

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Sat Feb 18 2006 - 07:38:10 EST

In reply to Jerry:

The question then is: *how is it possible that even with the wave of
noteworthy mergers in recent years, there has been a decline in
concentration?*  And, then, the question:  *is this trend towards declining
concentration happening
in other nations and will it reverse itself shortly?*

I think to answer your question, it's necessary to look at what is being
counted, but most probably the centralisation of capital has increased far
more than the concentration of capital in the Marxian sense.

As I mentioned, in Holland for example you have a very large number of
one-person enterprises (a portion of which are just tax shelters), so then
if you're counting enterprises only, you would diagnose a diffusion of
capital. But the total capital assets of these small firms is typically not
very significant compared to the corporations, and typically, the large
corporations only get larger qua subsidiaries and capital assets
owned/controlled, while at the same time, the practice of outsourcing and
subcontracting specialised tasks to smaller firms is growing, both in the
USA, Europe and Japan. So then you get a sort of "pyramid" of a holding,
parent or investment company, its subsidiaries and associated companies, and
then a supply-chain of smaller subcontracting companies.

My brother-in-law designed some componentry for the new Airbus A380 (the
rival of the Boeing 747), and he explained to me how the project of building
the plane involved literally hundreds of subcontractors in various European
countries as well as the USA. So then you have perhaps 80,000 people
altogether working for many different companies involved in making parts of
this plane, located in various countries (mainly France, UK, Germany, Spain,
USA and China), being either directly employed, or subcontracted by Airbus
(for an overview story, see


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