Uncovering the most underreported news stories of 2012
Published: November 21, 2012
6. Small network of corporations controls global economy
A University of Zurich study reported that a small group of companies – mainly banks – wields huge power over the global economy. The study is the first to look at all 43,060 transnational corporations and the web of ownership among them. The researchers' network analysis identified 147 companies that form a "super entity," controlling 40 percent of the global economy's total wealth. The close connections mean that the network could be prone to "systemic risk" and vulnerable to collapse.
Some have criticized the study, saying control of assets doesn't equate to ownership. True, but as we clearly saw in the 2008 financial collapse, corporations are capable of mismanaging assets in their control to the detriment of their actual owners.
Sources: Rob Waugh, "Does One 'Super Corporation' Run the Global Economy? Study Claims It Could Be Terrifyingly Unstable," Daily Mail, Oct. 20, 2011; Stefania Vitali, James B. Glattfelder and Stefano Battiston, "The Network of Global Corporate Control," Public Library of Science, Oct. 26, 2011.
7. The International Year of Cooperatives
According to Project Censored evaluators, the corporate media underreported the U.N. declaring 2012 to be the International Year of Cooperatives, based on the co-op business model's stunning growth. The U.N. found that, in 2012, 1 billion people worldwide – or one in five adults over the age of 15 – are co-op member-owners. The largest is Spain's Mondragon Corp., with more than 80,000 member-owners. Comprising 256 companies and bodies, the co-op corp is able to successfully compete in an international marketplace while maintaining its core principles of pursuing "democratic methods in its business organization, the creation of jobs, the human and professional development of its workers and a pledge to development with its social environment."
Is the corporate media missing an important trend, or is it worried that promoting news about massively successful co-ops might not be in its best interests?
Either way, the story got virtually no attention.
But it's not going away.
The U.N. predicts that by 2025, worker-owned co-ops will be the world's fastest growing business model. Worker-owned cooperatives provide for equitable distribution of wealth, genuine connection to the workplace and, just maybe, a brighter future for our planet.
Sources: Jessica Reeder, "The Year of the Cooperative," Yes! Magazine, Feb. 1, 2012; Monique Hairston, "American Dream 2.0: Can Worker-Owned Coops End Poverty?" Rebuild the Dream, March 9, 2012.
8. NATO war crimes in Libya
In January 2012, the BBC "revealed" how British Special Forces agents had joined and "blended in" with rebels in Libya to help topple dictator Muammar Gaddafi, a story that alternative media sources had reported a year earlier. NATO admits to bombing a pipe factory in the Libyan city of Brega that was key to the water supply system that brought tap water to 70 percent of Libyans, saying that Gaddafi was storing weapons in the factory. In Censored 2013, writer James F. Tracy makes the point that historical relations between the U.S. and Libya were left out of mainstream news coverage of the NATO campaign. Tracy adds, "Background knowledge and historical context confirming al-Qaida and Western involvement in the destabilization of the Gaddafi regime are also essential for making sense of corporate news narratives depicting the Libyan operation as a popular 'uprising.'"
Sources: Michael Collins, "Smoking Guns: War Crimes in Libya," The Daily Censored (blog), Nov. 2, 2011; Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey, "NATO's Ultimate War Crime: Destroying Libya's Water Supply," Global Research, Aug. 1; Franklin Lamb, "Where Have Libya's Children Gone?" Counterpunch, Aug. 8, 2011.