Information Technology and the Global Ruling Class

By Jerry Harris

(Race & Class, Vol. 42, #4, 2001)

Globalization is a new epoch in the history of world capitalism. The integration of finance, production and markets, and the speed at which they operate, has never been as deep and transformative as today. From it’s birth capitalism developed as a world system and throughout its history has introduced innovative technologies. It’s need for growth and profits has not changed. But the manner and structure in which this unfolds has. As colonialism reflected mercantile capitalism and imperialism was an extension of industrial capitalism, globalization has emerged from the foundations of information capitalism. Information technology (IT) is different from other historically new innovations like the blast furnace or automobile because of it’s ability to revolutionized other technologies. This is IT’s qualitative difference, the ability to transform the means of production and profoundly reshape capital/labor relations. Leading this process is the transnational capitalist class as they build a new social structure of  global accumulation.

Capitalists who developed and adopt information technologies are at the heart of the transnational capitalist class. These IT capitalists were responsible for the revolution in the means of production that created a new technological economic sector, evolved industrial manufacturing, transformed financial markets and altered the culture of modern society.  IT is the electronic skeleton through which globalization works, connecting every performing part of the world economy.  The power and reach of every transnational corporation depends on products from IT companies, and IT corporate leaders have become a key sector within the transnational capitalist class (TCC).1

Information capitalism built the structure of the new economy through two revolutionary methods in the production of information and knowledge.  The convergence of telecommunications and computers made possible a global command and control structure for transnationals, building a global assembly line for manufacturing.  Secondly, the same information systems established 24-hour global financial markets that function in real-time, leading to world capital integration. In addition, information technologies are thoroughly imbedded in the tools and productive processes of the traditional industrial sector, as well as consumer products, services, media and entertainment.2

The most important part of the IT sector are those corporations which manufacture the products that are building the global structure of information processing and enable organizational changes in finance and industry.  Those corporations that either produce these goods, or have most thoroughly integrated them into their productive processes tend to be the core of the new transnational power base.  Therefore IT has built new structures and tools (such as the Internet, computer hardware and software); these tools in turn have caused old structures to adopt and change (such as services and industrial production); have made possible the creation of new products and economic activity (such as wireless phones and e-commerce); and have evolved the structure of non-physical commodities with high information content (such as finance and entertainment).

Four Categories of IT

IT breaks down into four basic categories.  The first to develop were hardware corporations, many starting in the 1960s and ’70s.  These companies produce things like chips, boards, boxes, servers, switches, and routers that build the basic architecture and infrastructure of the new systems.  Some of the most important corporations are Intel, Cisco, Hewlett Packard, Sun Microsystems, Compaq and Dell.

The next wave of corporations began by writing software applications for everything from games to business systems; they also developed networks and operating systems.  Corporate giants such as Intuit, Microsoft, Oracle and Novell dominate this category.  Although their stock prices may go up and down these corporations are firmly rooted in producing value and profits.  For example, a copy of Microsoft Office 2000 retailed for $349, but only cost about $20 to manufacture.  With an overall profit rate of 39% on $20 billion in sales Microsoft is the envy of the corporate world.  Those profits are the reality behind its stock price.3

More recently Internet and dotcom companies have appeared.  These companies attracted a lot of attention and capital, helping to fuel the speculative boom in technology stocks.  With the collapse of the stock market in 2001this category underwent consolidation, but such innovators as AOL, Amazon, Ebay and Google have developed widely used and expanding services.  An important group of actors are also venture capitalists that specializ in IT start-ups.

Lastly are corporations offering Internet services, cable and broadband connections, satellite hook-ups, wireless communication and phone lines. Although emerging out of the industrial age the telecommunications industry is now technologically and financially linked to IT.  Perhaps the best indication of this convergence was the 1997 Telecommunications Act that created a new regulatory structure that sanctioned and recognized the rapidly merging telecommunications, computer and cable industries. Among these corporations are both old and new names such as A.T.T., National Fiber Network, Teledesic, Cable and Wireless, Alcatel, Deutsche Telekom and Nippon T & T.

Electronic corporations also have a substantial investment in IT manufacturing.  While these companies usually have their origins in the industrial era and a wide array of commodities, a significant number now produce a majority of their products in the above four IT categories.  These include semi-conductors, fiber optics, software, wireless phones and numerous other products that serve the computer and telecommunications industry.  In 2001 the United Nations listed the ten largest electronics corporations as Hitachi, Intel, Matsushita, Mitsubishi, Motorola, NEC, Philips, Siemens and Toshiba; holding a combined 1,557 majority owned foreign affiliates.

IT and Global Corporations

We can best understand the impact of IT corporations on the world economy if we examine their economic strength and broad based innovations shortly before the fall in stock prices in 2001. This period is particularly important because it was an explosive time for the expansion and consolidation of globalization and set the stage for today. Since 2001 economic globalization has proceeded apace with the typical ups and downs inherent in capitalist cycles. Additionally, while the IT sector continues to evolve it has lost none of its importance to the world economy.

In 1999 among the largest Fortune 500 transnationals 37% were based in the U.S., 34% were from Europe, and 20% from Japan.  Among emerging Third World countries South Korea listed nine corporations, China six, Brazil three, Taiwan two, and one each for India, Malaysia, Mexico and India. Among these transnationals the IT sector is the most profitable.  The following chart groups together the largest global economic sectors judged by revenues and profits to show the relative weight of information technology.  The chart shows sector, (under which are the industrial groups listed by Fortune), the number of transnationals in each sector, followed by revenues and profits.4 Neither the Labor Department, Fortune nor other economic observers have established an overarching category to analyze IT’s expansive influence. The following two charts attempt to establish such a criteria.

SECTOR     SIZE REVENUES
($ mil.)
PROFITS
($ mil.)
ITComputer Services and Software
Computers and Office Equip.
Electronics   5
Telecommunications
47   corps.US – 23

Euro – 12

Japan – 9

Other – 3

$1,339,671 $89,885
FINANCEBanks
Diversified Financials
70   corps.US – 16

Euro – 34

Japan – 9

Other – 11

$1,436,230 $64,215
TRANSPORTATIONAerospace
Airlines
Motor Vehicles and Parts
Railroads
Rubber   6
53   corps.US – 21

Euro – 18

Japan – 14

$1,560,252 $60,985
INSURANCELife and Health (Mutuals)
Life and Health (Stocks)
Property and Casualty (Mutuals)
Property and Casualty (Stocks)
54   corps.US – 17

Euro –19

Japan – 12

Other – 6

$1,292,977 $43,774
ENERGYEnergy
Mining, Crude-Oil Production
Petroleum Refining
Utilities
54   corps.US –  23

Euro – 12

Japan – 8

Other – 11

$1,249,113 $42,752

Fortune’s 500 listing of the largest U.S. corporations gives a more finely tuned arrangement of industrial groups than its list of the Global 500. In the U.S. finance ranked number one in profits, while the IT sector was second in profits but number one in revenues. By examining IT’s strength globally and in the U.S., its’ clear this sector emerged as a key power in world capitalism.7

SECTOR SIZE REVENUES
($ mil.)
PROFITS
($ mil.)
FINANCEBanks
Diversified Financials
Securities
Saving Institutions
78   corps. $838,637 $111,892
ITComputer and Office Equipment
Computer and Data Services
Computer Software
Computer Peripherals
Electronics8
Network Communications
Telecommunications
Semiconductors
94   corps. $891,884 $86,105
ENERGYEnergy
Mining, Crude-Oil Production
Petroleum Refining
Pipeline
Utilities: Gas and Electric
104   corps. $829,025 $38,638
TRANSPORTATIONAerospace
Airlines
Auto Retailing and Services
Motor Vehicles
Railroads
Transportation Equipment
Trucking
74   corps. $881,837 $36,681
INSURANCELife and Health (Mutuals)
Life and Health (Stocks)
Property and Casualty (Mutuals)
Property and Casualty (Stocks)
61   corps. $522,515 $29,691
FOODBeverage
Food
Food and Drug Stores
Food Services
79   corps. $492,396 $20,744

Capital Investments in IT Stocks

There tends to be two economic sectors in the globalized economy best represented by the “new economy” corporations listed on the Nasdaq, and the “old economy” industries of the DOW. In Europe IT stocks are mainly listed on the Euro.NM, (New Markets), an alliance that brings together France’s Nouveau Marche, Germany’s Neuer Markt, Italy’s Nuovo Mercato, Euro.NM Belgium, and Euro.NM Amsterdam.  This is not a perfect division between old and new industries and overlaps exist, but it does help to analyze sectors of growing distinction within capitalism.  This is different from the usual division drawn between finance and manufacturing, and is not meant to displace or challenge the validity of that analysis.  Rather the attempt here is to draw attention to the growing influence of digital/electronic technology as the key economic sector in the new era of information capitalism, and its distinct role in the development of a transnational capitalist class.

The IT revolution had a huge impact on capital investments and stock markets fueling the great global speculative boom. During this period the world’s three leading industrial groups in stock performance were semiconductors, wireless communications, and communication technologies. 9 In the US venture capital investments for start-ups (most of which were in IT) was at $19.3 billion in 1998 and jumped to $50.72 billion in 1999. 10 The market value of Nasdaq grew 1,900% in the decade of the 1990s.  Its value of $5.85 trillion was a third of total U.S. stock market value, up from only 10% in 1990.11 Overall, nine of the best ten performing stocks in the U.S. (March 1999 to March 2000) were from the IT industry.12 Canada experienced a similar boom. Technology and communications stocks accounted for 51% of the total value of the Toronto Stock Exchange, compared to just 15% for all of Canada’s energy, mining and forest product companies.13

A similar investment boom hit Germany’s New Market, whose top ten listings had an average return of 592% (February 1999 to February 2000).  The top ten old economy corporations listed on the DAX recorded a return of 95% over the same period.  Of these DAX performers if we eliminated the IT overlaps of Deutsche Telekom and SAP (which produces software), the remaining top eight companies averaged only 66%.   Like the DOW, DAX still has a larger total capitalization than the New Market, 1.01 trillion euros compared to 224 billion for the New Market.  But between 1997 and 2000 DAX grew 84%, while the New Market rose a remarkable 6,818%.14 The DAX is not only a market for German capital, foreigners hold about 40% of all stocks traded in Frankfurt, this is also true of the Paris stock market, (the CAC), where foreign investors hold 44% of the market capitalization.

Throughout Europe the impact of the new technology stocks were a spectacular success. Money left the old industrial sector in a rush to high technology. On average Euro.NM stocks rose 516% from 1997 to 2000.  The New Markets rapidly grew to 500 companies, with the 180 new listings of 1999 alone attracting $8.5 billion in investment capital.15 From March 1999 to March 2000 technology hardware stocks grew by 153.4%, telecom services by 47.1% and software/computer services by 54.2%.   In comparison old line industrial stocks were down: transportation by –27.3%, auto –26.3%, construction –8.6% and oil and gas by –7.5%.16 Of the seven best stock performers in Europe six were IT stocks.17

As the IT economy grew Nasdaq formed a joint venture with the London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Borse built an exchange for growth stocks that eventually included the Italian, German and Spanish New Markets.  Japan also entered the field with the creation of Nasdaq Japan, under the leadership of former I.B.M. Japanese executive Tatsuyuki Saeki.   Overall, telecommunications, media and computer technology were one-third of Europe and Asia’s capitalization of equities.18 Of the ten best performing stocks in Asia (not including Japan) seven were from the IT sector.19 By 1999 foreign direct investments in Asia had surged past its height before the huge crash in 1997, much of the new growth driven by technology and telecommunications.

Information technology is also expanding as a key to foreign direct investments, as well as foreign fund stock holdings around the world.  In Japan technology stocks held by foreign funds rose from 4% in 1997 to 22.4% at the beginning of 2000.  Figures for the Pacific and Asians markets show foreign held technology stocks up from 2.5% in 1995 to 16.5% in 2000. Growth in Europe was slower, but foreign held IT stocks rose from 2.8% to 10.4% in the same period.20

This tremendous growth in wealth throughout the world added new clout to info-tech corporations and put them in position to acquire other corporations.  The best example was AOL’s buyout of Time Warner despite the fact that it’s revenue was only 20% of Time Warner’s and it’s workforce 85% smaller. After the merger Gerhard Cromme, chief executive of Germany’s biggest steel company Thyssen Krupp, sounded an alarm for the old industrial giants. As he warned: “This can happen to everybody – even those of us with big market capitalizations.  Internet companies can buy up whatever they want in the world, and it’s something we have to think about.”21 Cromme is understandably envious of the IT industry where on average each Internet worker produces $257,308 of revenue per year, compared to an average of $145,000 for workers in industrial manufacturing.

The volatility and eventually crash of many Nasdaq stocks represented a shakeout of unsound and unprofitable companies typical in economic cycles of developing technologies.  Early electrical technology went through similar shakeouts from 1880 to 1890, resulting in the consolidation of General Electric and Westinghouse from a field of 21 mergers.22 The new technology economy has entered a period of greater centralization and consolidation reflecting competition in its monopoly stage. For example, between August 1999 and May 2000 Cisco acquired six companies spending a total of $17,399 billion.23 This process served to increase the relative influence and power of info-tech capitalists within the transnational class as major corporations consolidated and emerged as clear winners in the new economy.

IT Mergers and Globalization

According to Fortune, “The boom in mergers and acquisitions (is) one of the defining trends of the past decade.”24 In 1998 all-time records were set in the US with 12,500 deals totaling over $1.6 trillion.25 Of these, $201 billion were for cross-border mergers, up from $23 billion in 1991.  In turn, foreign investments in the US in 1999 totaled $240 billion in corporations and corporate bonds.26 Globally two sectors were particularly effected, telecommunications and finance, both affected by deregulation under the World Trade Organization. Other important mergers occurred in high technology, media, and basic manufacturing. Globally the pace of mergers roared ahead in 1999 with 23,576 deals worth $2.3 trillion.27

One of the most significant changes in the pattern of mergers was their transnational character. As noted by Jeffery Applegate, chief investment strategist at Lehman Brothers, “M&A, which used to take place only within a nation-state, is increasingly intraregional and increasingly global.”28 This differs from the merger wave in the early twentieth century that resulted in the control of domestic markets by a handful of corporations.  The transnational merger trend today acquires production facilities in other industrialized nations using cross-border buyouts in what John Bellamy Foster calls the “greatest merger wave in capitalist history.”29 This massive move to consolidation is driven by global competition as transnationals move to protect themselves and control production.

The struggle to dominate the IT field set the stage for some of the biggest transnational mergers, particularly the battle for Internet and telecommunications corporations.  In the U.S. AT&T acquired cable giant Telecommunications Inc. followed by MediaOne group. This gave AT&T control of more than a third of the nation’s cable network for television, high-speed Internet access and online telephone services.30 Other deals included SBC’s acquisition by Ameritech, Qwest’s move to buy US West, and the consolidation of MCI, WorldCOM and Sprint.

This same trend hit Latin America and Asia.  In Hong Kong the Internet access company Pacific Century Cyber Works was acquired for $38 billion by Cable and Wireless HKT, Hong Kong’s dominant phone company. Meanwhile Spain’s privatized Telefonica SA bought telecommunication and Internet companies throughout South America, including in the biggest markets of Brazil, Argentina, and Chile.  The top ten telecommunications firms now control 86% of the world market.31

Japanese corporations also entered into alliances and made important acquisitions.  Matsushita Electric entered Europe with three major Internet deals, while Nippon Telegraph and Telephone made a $5 billion deal for Colorado based Verio, the largest U.S. operator of business web sites.32 In a huge move Japan’s largest Internet group, Softbank, moved to become Europe’s biggest Internet investor by establishing two funds with a combined worth of $1 billion.  One fund was devoted to the UK worth $450 million in alliance with News Corporation, the other fund worth $550 million partnered with Vivendinet in France.33

Softbank has already invested in 300 Internet companies around the globe but the fit in Europe is particularly good. Both Europe and Japan  exploded in Internet wireless connections. In Japan, DoCoMo, a subsidiary of Nippon T&T, bypassed computers to spawn an e-mail craze with wireless phones. With six million subscribers and about 25,000 people signing up daily DoCoMo’s market value tripled in 15 months to $370 billion.34 In Europe free Internet connections via wireless phones is also widespread and expected to overtake PC users.  Says Eric Hippeau, president of Softbank International Ventures, “We’re particularly interested in wireless technology because Europe seems to be ahead of the US in this field. We can introduce technologies from Europe to the rest of the world.” 35  Following this strategy DoCoMo allied with Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchinson Whampoa and the Dutch mobile phone operator Royal KPN to buy-up the license rights for the next generation of mobile communication services in Britain, Germany, France and Belgium.

Not to be left behind Microsoft jumped into the Asian market hoping to become the dominant power in broadband. Gates allied with Legend and Haier in China to develop television set-top boxes, and with DoCoMo in Japan.  In Taiwan, Microsoft is working with Gigamedia of the Koos Group to bring Internet services to TV, mobile phones, and PCs. In Europe they joined with Palm’s biggest competitor, UK’s Psion, and Sweden’s Ericsson, major players in the mobile phone market.36

Cross-boarder mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures should not be understood as acts of national competition. These are transnational deals engineered by de-nationalized elites.  Transnational capitalists contend for world market share, changing competition between national champions to competition among global monopolies.  One example of the transnational nature of these deals was UK’s Vodafone acquisition of Germany’s Mannessmann. In the process Vodafone unloaded Orange (another UK firm) to France’s Telecom for $37 billion. This in turn added six million customers to Telecom, which already had operations in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.37

The Vodafone/Mannessmann merger joined a rapidly growing group of giant cross-border deals that include BP and Amoco; Credit Suisse and First Boston; Bertelsmann and Random House, Dupont and Herberts, Alcatel and Motorola and many others.  These are corporations whose national identities fade away as they shape the world economy and compete under the new rules of globalization.

IT and New Private Wealth

As IT production expanded it developed into powerful new corporations, creating new wealth and new capitalists.  This is a key group within the emerging transnational capitalist class and is developing its own characteristics and at times its own politics.  Money and Business conducted an analysis of chief executive’s pay comparing 100 of America’s largest non-technology companies to 60 of the leading new economy Nasdaq corporations.  The average pay of old economy chief executives was $7.1 million, compared to $27.5 million for the new economy leaders.  The info-tech executives on average have also accumulated $720 million more in equity, almost ten times the holdings of old economy executives.38 This wealth is based in the market valuation of stocks that are used more widely by the new economy corporations as part of executive compensation.  This is also true in Europe, where info-tech corporations on the hunt for top talent have begun the same practices as U.S. corporations.  While this wealth will fluctuate with the market, it’s an innovative use of tying the best talent into ownership.

By the year 2000 this not only made Bill Gates the richest man in the world with $71 billion in wealth, but also created ten other chief executives with ownership stakes over a billion dollars among the top 60 info-tech firms.  Even after the post 2001 Nasdaq crash these executives were worth a billion or more: Jeffrey Bezos of Amazon, $8.9 billion; Lawrence Ellison of Oracle, $8.4 billion; Henry Nicholos III of Broadcom, a producer of communication chips, $4.8 billion; Timothy Koogle of Yahoo, $2.4 billion; Jo Mei Chang of Vitria Technology, a maker of e-commerce software, $2.3 billion; David Wetherall of CMGI, $1.8 billion; Stephen Case of AOL, $1.7 billion; Irwin Jacobs at QualComm, $1.2 billion; and Scott Kriens of Juniper Networks, a maker of Internet routers, $1.1 billion.39

Among the 100 top DOW chief executives only two had ownership stakes over a billion: Patrick Ryan of Aon with $1.2 billion and Frederick Smith at Fed Ex with $1.1 billion.40

The above figures report on chief executives, but the Forbes 400 lists the greatest personal fortunes in the United States. As Forbes points out: “Heavy industrial fortunes would have dominated our list decades ago.”41 But no longer, information technology capitalists are the new stars of the era. To appear on the list you need a minimum of $625 million. Overall about two-thirds are billionaires.  Of the five richest men three come from Microsoft and one from Dell.  Of the total 400, 89 have wealth tied to the IT sector. IT capitalists also tend to be younger, 48 being under 50 years old, that is well over half of Forbes’ youngest superrich.42 Again looking at figures in 2000, of the 350,000 wealthiest households in America (worth $10 million or more), 5% were headed by someone 35 years old or younger.  In 1983 that age group headed only 0.79% of the richest households.43

Over the decade of the 1990s there was an outburst of magazines dedicated to watching and promoting the IT sector.  Wired is perhaps the most widely read dedicating 400 pages every month to trumpet the successes of the new economy.  Every June they print their own annual index of 40 IT companies that are “driving the future” complete with CEO profiles and investment advice.  Computer Resellers News is even more self-conscious focusing on individual leaders of the IT super-rich.  In November they pick 25 top IT corporate leaders complete with personal profiles and a parallel reader’s poll.  They also have established an “Industry Hall of Fame” with annual inductees.  By 2000 they had 37 members and you can go online to read articles, see photographs, video clips and hear recorded interviews on each member of this IT Valhalla.  The magazine also sponsors an inductee gala event, which in 1999 took place in the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas with 1,000 in attendance.  These magazines and events illustrate that IT capitalists are fully self-aware and see themselves as a separate sector within their class.

The development of IT capitalists has interesting historic parallels to the rise of the industrial bourgeoisie in Great Britain.  The technology of the industrial revolution that began in England around 1750 produced a whole host of new industries, new means of production and new wealth and gave birth to capitalism’s modern era.  The industrial revolution created value much more rapidly than the old agrarian economy, and the wealth and political influence of the new rich soon outstripped that of the old money.  But the industrial bourgeoisie also merged with the landed gentry through common investments, financial mergers, and marriage. Also land management modernized to produce the first factory farms, transforming feudal estates with new farming equipment and methods of production.  In this manner important sectors of the old agricultural economy became part of industrial capitalism.

The same process can be seen today as old industrial families invest in new technology, and industrial corporations adopt information technologies to transform themselves and step into the new economy.  As the New York Times notes, “From Taiwan to Thailand, the region’s most powerful families have started a blizzard of online ventures. Whether their core businesses are in property, telecommunications or banking, Asia’s tycoons are seizing on the Internet in hopes of expanding their reach.”44 This strategy is not isolated to Asian capitalism, but is a global trend.

In addition, globalization is reflected in the importance of immigrants in the IT family of capitalists. Consider Silicon Valley where Intel, Google and Ebay were all co-founded by immigrants. Foreign-born entrepreneurs were responsible for 25% of all US technology start-ups between 1995-2005. These companies employed 450,000 workers and generated $52 billion in sales. California led the nation with 39% of immigrant start-ups firms closely followed by New Jersey at 38%.45

IT’s Political Agenda

Competition can be fierce within the IT stratum as the government’s anti-monopoly suit against Microsoft revealed.  But there are also commonly shared political, social and economic goals.  Some of these are a no tax policy for e-commerce; support for government social spending to expand the use of computers and internet access; an open immigration policy for IT professionals; support for regulatory legislation that has allowed the merger of telephony, television and computer technology; limiting lawsuits from Year 2000 computer failures; ending overtime pay after an eight-hour workday; enforcing US copyright laws to protect intellectual capital; and support for China’s entry into the WTO.

Many IT capitalists at first viewed the political process as meaningless. Most believed their technological innovations were so important and revolutionary that they would change the world while ignoring the old social structures of power. But by the late 1990s the political involvement of info-tech capitalists was growing rapidly in the nation’s capital. Within three years Microsoft spent about $16 million in donations to candidates and lobbying efforts after the government’s antitrust suit in 1997. Other Internet companies more than doubled their political contributions in 1999 to $4.5 million, while telecommunications and phone companies added another $7.61 million.  As with many industries this money is more or less evenly split between both Republicans and Democrats. As info-tech corporations dramatically increased their lobbying efforts in Washington, politicians began falling over each other to help pro-industry legislation through Congress.  Often bills favored by high-tech corporations get support from a mix of Democrats and Republicans. “ ‘You have to work hard to make technology issues Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative,’ said Representative Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts. ‘It’s not the contras versus the Sandinistas’.”46

New style Democrats meet with Silicon Valley executives regularly.  Says Wade Randlett co-founder of TechNet and executive at Red Gorilla “I think they are trying to create a mini high-tech party in a way. It’s a smart political approach.” 47 Republican Representative of Louisiana, W.J. Tauzin calls the info-tech executives “stars,” while Virginia Democratic Representative James Moran notes, “People want to know them, touch them.”48 As the info-tech industry grows its political wish list becomes larger and hundreds of bills that affect the industry are now in Congress.  As ex-Democratic leader, Senator Tom Daschle stated, “The level of interest is as high or higher than any other set of issues I’m aware of.  It’s a new paradigm.”49

IT capitalists have also sought to tailor social policies by establishing large grant foundations. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is now the largest private foundation in the world with an endowment of $17 billion, influencing others like Warren Buffet to join their ranks. Hewlett-Packard also entered the foundation picture, nudging aside the Ford Foundation as the third largest with an endowment of $10 billion.50

IT and Industrial Capital

The drive towards a unified world capitalist system is rooted in its competitive struggle for accumulation.  But the mode by which the nationally based industrial sector is transformed into transnational corporations is defined by IT.  It’s not just a change in the way competition unfolds or where capital is invested, but the way in which information technology has changed industrial technology.  This has a direct impact on how globalization is structured, its capabilities and mode of operation. Wal-Mart became the largest corporation in the world through its innovative use of an IT driven supply chain that revolutionized warehousing and delivery.  Abby Joseph Cohen, chief strategist at Goldman Sachs notes; “In many ways it’s artificial to draw a distinction between the so-called old economy and new economy, because the real magic of the U.S. economy has been the enormous application of technology.”51 Adds Fortune, “the companies of the 500 that get the NET – even if they’re smokestack industries – are way ahead of their less Netsavvy rivals.”52 This is evident in Wired magazine’s yearly list of the 40 companies that are driving the global economy through innovation, technology and strategic planning. The list is still dominated by IT corporations such as Google, Infosys and Samsung but also appearing are more traditional companies like Toyota, Costco, Ryanair and BP.53

One effect of IT is shifts in the character of the labor force.  The Chicago Tribune reports, “In a recent survey, the American management Association found that 36% of approximately 2,000 companies contacted created new jobs at the same time that they cut existing jobs.”54 For example, AT&T is eliminating accountants, marketing managers, telephone operators and repair people, but adding jobs in software developers, Internet specialists, and sales agents.  Although many of the newer jobs have higher salaries, AT&T plans to layoff 40,000 workers while only adding 10,000. This turnover in the AT&T labor force typifies the replacing of traditional jobs with new skilled categories, and companies that make the transition can operate with less labor.  Not only is IT changing job categories within traditional companies it creates traditional jobs around the building and use of information systems. For example, technology workers only make-up 28% of the Internet labor force, while sales and marketing are 33%, manufacturing 17%, accounting and finance 12%, and administration 10%.55 Overall two-thirds of the US IT labor force works in non-IT producing sectors, and skilled IT jobs are created at a pace five to six times faster than other job categories.56 More importantly Internet revenues have been growing at twice the rate of employment. This is the reason the dot com stock market bust had dramatic but limited effect. Dot coms only made up 9.6% of the IT industry.57

Auto is perhaps the best example of the marriage of the old and new economies.  It is the auto that best represents the industrial economy of the twentieth century. Its development pushed the expansion of the rubber, steel, glass and oil industries, it initiated the development of our highway system, changed the urban landscape into limitless suburbs, helped build a national economy, and impacted our culture in many faceted ways.  Yet today this old industry is thoroughly linked to the tools and organization of the new economy much in the manner that feudal farming was transformed by the industrial revolution.

This transformation has taken place in every phase of auto manufacturing and can be divided into five categories: organization; research and design; means of production; product; and marketing and supplies.

Organization: The global assembly line constructed by the auto industry was made possible by the new command and control system built by information technology.  The coordination of production, the supply chain flow of parts, the sharing and speed of data, accounting and finances are all done through the instant connectivity of computer networks and software that organizes and channels the necessary information.  This level of coordination and the speed needed to operate the system would be physically impossible with the simple phone lines of the 1950s and 60s.  GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler also created a business-to-business web site that coordinates transactions for everything automakers and their suppliers buy.  This global parts exchange handles about $750 billion in e-commerce transactions. Engineering changes are also speeded up because innovations are sent instantaneously up and down the line resulting in a smoother coordination of supplies and products.

Research and Design: All modeling is done with computers and software created for this specific work.  The research for developing new parts, the use of new materials, as well as the design of each model is accomplished with information technologies.  Beyond the manner in which vehicles are designed have been the engineering efforts to integrate microprocessors into the operation of cars and trucks.  Also the coordination of these projects and their global work teams operate through real time connections carried out via the integration of computer and telecommunications.

Means of Production: Robot painters, wielders and assemblers are the most obvious changes in the means of production, but the changes are deeper and more imbedded.  Many tools like lathes, drill presses and milling machines are run by numerical control technology. Also the coordination of work and its pace inside the factory is carried out through the use of IT.  These changes have lead to huge productivity gains in the auto industry and a drop in employment.  At the Ford factory in Chihuahua, Mexico, 16 workers produce 1,200 cylinder blocks per shifts.58 Recently Chrysler built a plant with an operating plan of only five-years, based on the expected life span of the software that manages production. Since IT is now seen as the source of added value the factory is organized on its lifecycle, not industrial assets such as heavy machinery.59

Product:  Cars are imbedded with microprocessors at virtual every level of function.  The engine, the flow of gas, traction control, diagnostics and entertainment systems all run on software and microprocessors. The Economist reports that,  “The typical car today has more computer-processing power than the first lunar landing-craft had in 1969.”60

Marketing:  Every medium that advertises and markets cars has been changed by the technological revolution.  The message of ads may not have changed, but the technology that delivers it has.  E-commerce and web site marketing are changing the way vehicles are sold.  The ultimate hope of the auto industry is to link customers to the car before it leaves the assembly line via Internet ordering.  Buyers of the Mini Cooper can now follow the production of their car via the Internet as it winds its way down the assembly line.

These multiple changes have created the global assembly line that in turn has produced growing centralization in the auto industry. Global competition has undercut national ownership and spawned a spectacular rise in world mergers. A typical example of global coordination is Japan’s Mazda building cars in Spain in a factory owned by Ford for the market in Europe.

By 2000 five transnational players owned or controlled 20 formerly independent manufactures. The General Motors’ empire included: Fiat, Subaru, Isuzu, Saab, Daewoo and Suzuki.  Ford controlled Jaguar, Aston Martin, Land Rover, Mazda, and Volvo. Volkswagon acquired Audi, Bently, Birgatti, Lamborghini, Seat and Skoda.  The three other major world corporations are Daimler Benz, which until 2007 owned Chrysler, Renault which controls Nissan and acquired Samsung, and lastly Toyota which took over Daihatsu.  This leaves only Honda, BMW, and Hyundai as important independents.61

Oil production is another old economy industry transformed by IT. The ability to find oil and get to it has been revolutionized. Seismic visualization now creates 3D rotating colored images of earth’s interior for underground exploration. These hologram images aren’t produced by cameras, but by mathematical modeling of sound echoes and algorithms.  To process a square kilometer’s worth of data takes ten minutes, compared to 800 minutes in 1985.  The cost of analyzing a fifty-square-mile survey fell from $8 million in 1980 to about $90,000 by 2000.62

Once likely oil deposits are located directional drills cut through rock in any desired direction and angle. Drills now carry computers that collect data along the way.  These downhole processors equal the power of three Pentium PCs and can use oilrigs as servers. Executives can log on through the Internet from their Houston home office, or using a laptop in the back of a limo to get real-time reports from any site in the world.  As in auto, command and control becomes instantaneous and global.  Mergers are also sweeping the industry, reducing the famous Seven Sisters to just four.

What is true for oil and auto also applies to other major industrial groups.  Not only does ownership cross borders, but production, design, supplies and marketing are also global. This whole system is run and made possible by IT. The old industrial economy is thoroughly saturated at every level with the new means of production. Says Thomas Kwok of the Hong Kong business empire Sun Hung Kai, “One good thing about old-economy companies is that they have profits and cash flow, but old-economy companies need new-economy ideas to survive.”63 That is what makes info-tech capitalism so key to the creation of a global economy and the transnational capitalist class.  The fabulous wealth of the new economy goes far deeper than dot com stock speculation.  In actuality the dot com craze was only an outward manifestation of a much more firmly rooted creation of new value. Even with the IT recession, sales of technology equipment and services in 2001 was up 9.6% in Asia and 11.1% in Europe, slower than the mad pace of 1999, but still healthy.64

IT and Finance

Finance has been revolutionized by the new means of information production.  In fact, globalization is largely defined by the huge and rapid transfer of money.  This ability has spawned a new era of speculation and investments that has transformed national economies the world over.  Although many analysts worry about the instability of global capital markets that’s exactly where profits are to be made. Says Jack Bouroudjian, senior vice president of Commerz Futures, “Traders love market volatility – they live by it.”65 Adds the Tribune “dramatic swings in stock prices …have largely been welcome – more volatility means more volume.” 66

By the year 2000, for the first time in history, the world’s stock market capitalization passed the world’s economic output in goods and services. From $16 trillion a decade before, stock market capitalization hit $35 trillion. This compares to $30.1 trillion in global goods and services.67 Hundreds of new financial instruments have been created to increase this flow in what the New York Times refers to as a “torrid growth in the world’s Capital markets.”68 This growth would have been impossible without the information systems that operate it, building an integrated global financial system that ties together all national currencies in a web of dependency.

In order to navigate and profit from this volatile environment traders rely on accurate data. Information is key to the operation of financial markets, and it’s speed, coordination and accuracy are core elements. All of these have been immensely enhanced by a wired world, which in-turn creates a rapidly changing environment that pushes demands for faster and better information.  The ability to move huge amounts of money electronically, the knowledge of where to move it, and how long to leave it has lead to trillions of dollars bouncing around world markets operating on daily or even hourly margins.  As pointed out by Walter Wriston, past CEO of Citibank; “The increased velocity of money gives you a difference in kind – not just degree. It’s like a piece of lead: you put it on your desk, it’s a paperweight; you put it in a gun, it’s a bullet…in the age of global banking, selling rapid information about money is the key to making money.”69

to one millisecond Technology has so transformed the process of trading that computers often buy and sell without direct human input. Programmed to generate economic statistics from wired news articles computers feed other computers that automatically trade on word recognition.  Market sensitive terms such as lay-offs or drought are picked out from machine readable news written in strings of words and numbers in computer friendly language put out by Reuters and Thomson Financial. Immediately computers start selling and buying. 70 In 2007 a consortium of investment banks announced new technology reducing the time it takes to trade a stock to one millisecond, down from the previous record of ten milliseconds.

Algorithms also do much of the automatic trading in global money markets, looking for arbitrage lurking in currency rates that see $1.7 trillion exchanged daily. A computer known as CHIPS, or the Clearing House Interbank Payment System processes this flood of financial transactions. Housed in New Jersey CHIPS handles about $2 billion in transfers every minute.  Belgium is home for a sister computer called SWIFT, or the Society of Worldwide Financial Telecommunications. The New York Times dubbed CHIPS, “the computer system that is the heart of global capitalism.” In fact, more than 90% of all money circulating between countries is in speculative activities.71

The growing array of technological platforms available to traders acts as an engine of growth for new financial products and the power of finance capital. The speed of the technological architecture drives capitalist accumulation towards speculation rather than long-term investments in manufactured commodities and market share. This has created a global culture of short-term profit making that resulted in the powerful emergence of hedge funds now controlling somewhere between $1,500 billion to $2,000 billion. Hedge funds thrive on short-term aggressive deals with access to huge amounts of leverage debt available in the deep pools of speculative capital that have flooded into financial markets. Termed “locus” by Europeans, Nicolas Sarkozy, the conservative French president attacked hedge funds that; “buy up a company, sell it off in pieces, sack 25 percent of the staff, collect 25 percent profit and create zero wealth.” 72

Many of the biggest hedge funds such as AQR Capital, DE Shaw and Renaissance Technologies, (respectively managing $35bn, $26.3bn and $24bn), rely on “cutting edge, complex mathematics for quantitative investment processes…and computer-driven rapid-fire trading across equities, bonds, currencies and commodities.” 73 The Chicago hedge funds Citadel, DRW and Getco are also well known for their use of state of the art technology and complex mathematical models to buy and sell enormous volumes daily. This is termed “black box trading” or “program trading.” These programs apply algorithms using quantitative analysis to identify mispricings or index arbitrage in stocks, bonds and derivatives. The electronic bond trading platforms eSpeed and BrokerTec account for $300 billion or two-thirds of the most frequently traded Treasury instruments. Citadel holds $30 billion in bonds or ten percent of the entire trading flows. It also accounts for more than five percent of all share trading volume on the New York Stock Exchange and Tokyo Stock Exchange.  Citadel’s power is directly related to their automated trading system and lightning quick transactions of large daily volumes.74

Such tightly bound interrelationships between technological capabilities and capital markets builds the material foundation for the transnational capitalist class These interrelationships extend to physical communities as well. As Saskia Sassen has shown, global capitalists concentrate in physical space where both the intellectual and technological assets exist to manage their wealth.75 For the new financial speculators this is Greenwich, Connecticut where almost half of the world’s hedge funds with more than $1 billion in assets are headquartered. Greenwich also serves as home to many hedge fund millionaires and billionaires giving the area its new nickname, “Hedgistan.” 76 Greenwich is now an essential stop for any presidential candidate raising campaign funds, attracting every major Republican and Democratic hopeful in 2007.

Just as mergers in industry are driven by global competition and the organizational abilities of IT, so too mergers swept the banking and finance industry.  Major transnational mergers saw Suisse Credit’s buying the Bank of Boston and Deutsche Bank’s acquisition of Bankers Trust.  The biggest move inside the US was Travelers’ acquisition of Salomon Smith Barney, followed by their buy-out of Citibank for $73 billion. This business deal created Citigroup with total assets of $720 billion and operations in over 90 countries.  In 2007 Citigroup moved deeper into the Japanese market with its $7.7 billion takeover of Nikko Cordial, Tokyo’s third largest brokerage firm.  In Japan pending mergers will create two banks with assets of more than $1 trillion apiece. Another trillion-dollar bank, UBS of Switzerland, acquired Paine Webber that held $423 billion in assets. The same trends are present in Germany, where there has been a scrambling of Deutsche Bank (Germany’s largest with $800 billion) Commezbank, Hypovereinslack and Dresdner Bank to merge or recreate themselves for global competition.77 The big story in 2007 became the battle over the sale of ABN Amro from the Netherlands with Barclays from the UK, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Spain’s Santander, the Belgium-Dutch group Fortis and Bank of America all fighting for control.

While New York has the DOW and Nasdaq, Sassen points out that by 1999 London was “the preeminent city for global finance…It leads the world in institutional equity management, holding over $1.8 trillion in assets…it is arguably the world’s biggest net exporter of financial services, with a surplus of $8.1 billion…leads in international bank lending, consulting on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, and trading and issuing international bonds. Finally, London is the leading global foreign exchange center, with a 40% market share, far ahead of New York.” 78  In fact, banks in the U.S. accounted for only 15% all of cross-border lending, and by 2006 London raised $55 billion in capital surpassing the $47 billion raised in New York for the first time. Another indicator of globalism and the loss of US hegemony was the launching of eight of the ten largest IPOs in Hong Kong and Europe in 2005. All of this has forced U.S investment banks to move sections of their management to London including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch.

Venture capital has also become an important player in investments, particularly in the IT sector.  In the first six months of 2000 a total of $49.3 billion was invested in 3,322 new companies.  Northern California was the center for venture capital receiving 36% of the total, while 20% went to east coast start-ups.  Nationally almost 86% of these investment funds went to Internet related companies. Of those companies attracting large investments of $50 million or more, 36 of 39 were tied to the Internet.79

Most investments come from Silicon Valley’s “famously insular private financing community” often based on “close personal relationships and local connections.” 80At first venture capital was mainly a local affair with angel investors mentoring start-ups and sitting on boards.  But as pointed out by Jean Yaremchuk; “The spirit of global cooperation has rubbed off on venture capital investors, with European powerhouses investing in Silicon Valley and a slew of U.S. based venture capitalists moving into Europe.”81

More recently Silicon Valley investors have moved into China and Israel extending “their dominance of the overall US and global venture capital markets.” 82 In Israel in 2006 overseas buyers acquired 57 technology companies for $9 billion and invested another $1.6 billion in 400 high-tech start-ups. This reflects a recovery of venture capital which bottomed out in 2003.  An additional boost are technologies that make it easier to connect new internet services such as video, photos and blogs helping to create new “social media” at a fraction of the cost of just a few years ago. The new Web 2.0 era has seen about 1200 start-ups attracting $7.2 billion. The biggest deals were the sale of MySpace to NewsCorp and Google’s $1.65 billion buyout of YouTube. 83

The Emergence of China and India

Perhaps the most important development since 2001 has been the growing power of India and China. IT has played a key role in both countries with globalizing third world leaders incorporated into the transnational capitalist class. China is home to almost 600,000 foreign firms with close to $70 billion in investments. About 66% of Chinese exports are from foreign owned corporations. For the global assembly line to work corporations rely on a finely balanced relationship between manufacturers, suppliers, subcontractors, just-in-time warehousing, the flow of information between markets and producers and the real-time coordination of the entire process. This world spanning command and control manufacturing process is dependent on information and communication technology.

A key part of China’s manufacturing base is the electronics industry. China is a world center for semiconductors that includes coordinated production with US, Europe, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Huawei Technologies, the telecommunications giant, employs 10,000 researchers, has sales in 40 countries and joint ventures with NEC, 3COM and Matsushita. Lenovo occupies third place in the global PC market and other Chinese companies are going global. As Paul Taylor notes, “Chinese electronic companies have set their sights on building globally recognized brands supported by product innovation, research and development programs and improved customer support.” 84

China is also quickly moving up the technological ladder. Between 1996-2006 R&D spending more than doubled and China now files more patents than Germany. Over the same period China quadrupled its university student population and presently graduates 352,000 engineers a year compared to 137,000 in the US. Incredibly 25% of all PhD candidates in the U.S are Chinese, many of whom are foreign students heading home. In 2006 some 30,000 Chinese studying abroad returned to the mainland. Returnees play an important role in China’s progress and are responsible for 503 of its 616 patents in information technology. Chinese scientist also attract transnational corporations, about 300 have established R&D centers in China including world leaders like Microsoft. 85

IT entrepreneurs are also at the core of a newly developing non-statist capitalist class.  Already three of China’s dot coms are listed on the Nasdaq.  As the New York Times observes, “as China’s old Marxists know, capital is power and if the country’s young Internet entrepreneurs can hang onto their assets and make them grow, they could emerge as a potent force shaping the country’s economic – and political – future.” 86 China, as well as India,  benefited from the 2001 US economic recession with thousands of laid-off Silicon Valley engineers and scientists returning home helping to lay the foundation for IT industries.

India has a world reputation for its IT industry with global leaders Infosys, Wipro, Satyam and Tata Consulting. The revenues of India’s IT industry rose at a compound annual rate of 28 percent between 1999 and 2005 to reach $28 billion. Although the IT sector employs less than one percent of India’s workforce it accounts for about seven percent of India’s GDP and some of its most influential transnational capitalists. In 2003, India had 52 percent of the global revenues from outsourced IT work and 46 percent of the employment. The biggest firms have turned into transnational corporations making acquisitions inside the US, Mexico, Australia, the Philippines and Europe. In turn they have attracted investments from General Electric, Intel, Cisco, IBM and Dell. The Peterson Institute notes the transnational character of India’s IT sector observing, “India-located IT companies are constantly bought and sold across borders.” 87

At the heart of this transnational process are domestic Indian entrepreneurs along with significant influence from the returning Indian diaspora. Foreign transnationals only employ about 23 percent of India’s IT workforce. Although relatively small in number IT managers and workers represent a dynamic part of the middle class with wages rapidly shooting upwards. In addition, as a new industry IT is at the forefront of India’s neoliberal global economic model, free of the many regulations that oversee traditional industry.

From One Era to the Next

The tendency of capitalism to expand and become a world system has been present from it’s start. But the ability to integrate beyond it’s national borders and emerge as a transnational system is closely linked to the new abilities of information technology.  The interconnectivity and speed necessary to link world finance and build a transnational economy only became possible with a networked world.  Earlier international trade based in national industrial capitalist formations was built by slower flows of information, coordination, exchange, transaction, and travel. The technological revolution of the industrial era built new markets and manufacturing methods bound by its own capabilities, just as today’s technology allows capitalism to reconfigure itself along new lines of global organization.

Early in the industrial era Karl Marx noted the revolutionary role played by technology in changing society. According to his analysis, “Modern Industry never looks upon and treats the existing form of process as final. The technical basis of that industry is therefore revolutionary, while all earlier modes of production were essentially conservative. By means of machinery, chemical processes and other methods, it is continually causing changes not only in the technical basis of production, but also in the functions of the laborer, and in the social combinations of the labor process. At the same time, it thereby also revolutionizes the division of labor within the society, and incessantly launches masses of people from one branch of production to another.”88

This process continues today with political expressions that spring forth from the organizational abilities of the new means of production.  The rise of neo-liberalism with it’s demand for open markets and a worldwide financial structure emerged when capital became capable of exploiting such a global system. These policies never developed in the era of industrial capitalism. That world did not have the physical means, the speed, nor the connectivity to build or conceive of such an integrated economic system. Compare today’s ability for almost unlimited real-time connectivity to the 1950s when long distance phone lines could only process a few hundred calls between Europe and the U.S. at any given time. Capitalism’s international industrial system was based on national production and exchange, and the monopolization of markets by individual nation states.  Today’s transnationalization of production and finance is a different type of global exploitation and a new type of imperialism, with its own organizational and structural abilities that in turn create a new political terrain.

NOTES

1. For an analysis of the formation of the transnational capitalist class see William I. Robinson and Jerry Harris, “Towards a Global Ruling Class: Globalization and the Transnational Capitalist Class,” Science and Society, (Spring 2000); William I. Robinson, A Theory of Global Capitalism, 2004, Johns Hopkins University Press; Kees van der Pijl, Transnational Classes and International Relations, 1998, Routledge; Leslie Sklair, The Transnational Capitalist Class, 2003, Blackwell.

2.  Manuel Castells has written extensively on the “network society” and the impact of the information age.

3. James Fallows, “Billion Dollar Babies.” The New York Review, (December 16, 1999): 9.

4. Fortune. “The Fortune Global Five Hundred, the World’s Largest Corporations.” Fortune, (August 2, 1999).

5. In analyzing the electronics industry I included in the chart only those corporations with substantial investments in IT products, and eliminated corporations whose basic production is still industrial consumer commodities.  For example, Fortune lists both Whirlpool and Intel in the same category. Out of 25 on Fortune’s list I choose the following 16: Siemens; Hitachi; Matsushita; Toshiba; Royal Philips; NEC; Lucent Technologies; Motorola; Intel; L.M. Ericsson; Samsung; Northern Telecom; Sanyo; Nokia; Sharp; and Tyco International.

6. I included Rubber in the transportation industry because Fortune listed only three rubber corporations among its 500 list, Bridgestone, Michelin, and Goodyear, all tightly linked to the transportation industry through tire production.

7. Fortune. “The Fortune 500.” Fortune, (April 17, 2000).

8. In listing the US electronics industry I used the same method as above.  Out of 31 corporations I choose the following ten: Motorola; Solectron; Rockwell Intl.; QualComm; Harris; Micron Technology; Molex; Conexant Systems; DII Group; and Sanmina.

9. Lipper, Wall Street Journal Market Data Group. “Best and Worst,” The Wall Street Journal,  (May 8, 2000).

10. Suzanne McGee, “Venture Capitalists Still Love Start-Ups,” The Wall Street Journal, (May 4, 2000). C1.

11. Greg Ip and E.S. Browning, “NASDAQ Swings are Unprecedented But Consumers are Not Spooked,” Wall Street Journal, p. 3. (April 17, 2000). (http://www. global.noc.org)

12.  Lipper, Wall Street Journal Market Data Group. Wall Street Journal, p. R17.

13. Mark Heinzl, “Above the U.S.,” Wall Street Journal, (May 8, 2000): R13.

14. Edmund L. Andrews, “The Metamorphosis of Germany Inc.,” New York Times, (March 12, 2000): Section 3, 1.

15. Deborah Ball and Vanessa Fuhrman, “Net Gain,” Wall Street Journal, (May 8, 2000): R9.

16. Dillion Read Warburg, “What Is Value,” Wall Street Journal, (May 8, 2000): R9.

17. Lipper, Wall Street Journal Market Data Group, Wall Street Journal, p.  R17.

18. Bill Barnhart, “Cross Border Marriages Will Ease Investing,” Chicago Tribune, (May 7, 2000): Section 5, 3.

19. Moringstar Inc., “The Tentacles of Technology,” New York Times, (April 2, 2000): BU8.

20. Ibid., 21.

21. Edmund L. Andrews, “The Metamorphosis of Germany Inc.,” New York Times, (March 12, 2000): Section 3, 1.

22. Anthony Bright, The Electric Lamp Industry, (New York: MacMillian, 1949). 85.

23. Scott Thurman, “Cisco Agrees to Buy Arrow Point for About $6.1 Billion in Stock,” Wall Street Journal, (May 8, 2000): A4.

24. Noshua Watson, “The Lists,” Fortune, (April 17, 2000). 295.

25. Jeremy Kahn, “The Fortune Global Five Hundred,” Fortune, (August 2, 1999): 144.

26. R.C. Longworth, “Suddenly Our Manuals are Out of Date,” Chicago Tribune, (April 9, 2000): Section 2, 1.

27.  Suzanne Koudsi, “Ten Deals We’d Like to See,” Fortune, (April 17, 2000): 58.

28.  Kahn, Fortune, p. 144.

29. John Bellamy Foster, “Monopoly Capital At the Turn of the Millennium,” Monthly Review, (April 2000): 12.

30. Stephan Labaton, “ATT Clears Step in Bid to Purchase a Cable TV Giant,” New York Times, (May 26, 2000): 1.

31. Foster, Monthly Review, p. 12.

32. Nikhal Deogin and Steve Lipin, “NTT Agrees to Buy 90% of Verio,” Wall Street Journal (February 8, 2000): A21.

33. Paul Abrahams, “Softbank in $1bn European Internet Investment Move,” Financial Times, (March 3, 2000): 15.

34. Uli Schmetzer, “Wireless ‘I-Mail’ Connects Japan,” Chicago Tribune, Section  (May 24, 2000): Section 3, 1.

35. Paul Abrahams, Financial Times, p. 15.

36.  Neel Chowdhury, “Gates and Co. Attack Asia,” Fortune, (April 17, 2000): 197.

37. Andrew R. Sorkin, “For Vodafone, Saving Grace from French,” New York Times, (May 29, 2000): C1.

38. David Leonhardt, “Order of Compensation Universe Reflects Pull of New Economy,” New York Times, (April 2, 2000): Section 3, 1.

39. Ibid.

40. Ibid.

41. Forbes, “America’s 400 Richest People,” Forbe Special Issue, (1999): 338.

42. Forbes, “America’s 400 Richest People,” Forbes Special Issue, (1999).

43. Laura Holson, “Nothing Left to Buy?” New York Times, (March 3, 2000): C1.

44. Mark Landler, “Asia’s Tycoons Prepare to Join Rush to Internet,” New York Times, (May 29, 2000): 1.

45. Financial Times, Indians lead the way in US technology start-ups” (January 6, 2007): 2

46. Craig Smith, “A Dot-Com Revolution in China,” New York Times, (July 15, 2000): B1.

47. Lizette Alvarez, “High-Tech Industry Long Shy of Politics, Is Now Belle of Ball,”  New York Times, (December 26, 1999): 1.

48. Ibid.

49. Ibid.

50. Ibid.

51. James Fallows, “Billion-Dollar Babies,” New York Review, (December 16, 1999): 9.

52. Feliciano Garcia, “The Lists,” Fortune, (April 17, 2000): 294.

53. Ibid.

54. Kevin Kelleher, “The Wired.40.” Wired Magazine, (June 2004): 106.

55. Patrick Barta, “The Churning of the Workforce,” Chicago Tribune,  (March 26, 2000): Section 6, 1.

56. Jacob Kirkegaard, “Offshoring, Outsourcing, and Production Relocation—Labor-Market Effects in the OECD Countries and Developing Asia,” Peterson Institute for International Economics, Wash. DC (April 2007).

57. Anitesh Barua and Dr. Andrew Whinston, Center for Research in Electronic Commerce, Graduate School of Business. University of Texas at Austin. (February 27, 2001).

58. Jerry Harris, “Globalization and the Technological Transformation of Capitalism,” Cy.Rev no. 5, (Fall-Winter 1997): 19.

59. Chris Meyer, “The 10 Driving Principles of the New Economy, Rule #1, What’s the Matter,” Business 2.0, (March 2000): 193.

60. Parn Woodall, “The World Economy,” Economist,  (September 28, 1996).

61. Keith Bradsher, “Gentlemen Merge Your Manufacturers,” New York Times,  (March 23, 2000): C1.

62. Jonathan Rauch, “The New Old Economy: Oil, Computers and the Reinvention of the Earth,” The Atlantic Monthly, (January 2001): 35.

63. Landler, New York Times, p. 1.

64. International Data Corporation, International Herald Tribune, (March 17, 2001): Section 2, 1.

65. Bill Barnhart, “Traders Thrive on Volatility, but Some Say Enough,” Chicago Tribune, (April 14, 2000): Section 3, 1.

67. Ibid.

68.  Harris, Cy.Rev no. 5, p. 17.

69. Walter Wriston, Twilight of Sovereignty: how the information revolution is transforming our world. (New York, Scribner’s 1992): 202.

70. Craig Karnin, “The Global Shareholder,” Wall Street Journal, (May 9, 2000): R4.

71. Aline van Duyn, “If you’re reading this, it’s too late: a machine got here first,” Financial Times (April 16, 2007).

72. James Mackintosh, “Investors still pile in,” Financial Times Special Report, (April 27, 2007): 2.

73. Financial Times, “Hedge Funds,” FT Special Report (April 27, 2007): 12-14.

74. Anuj Gangahar, “Chicago trio shake up markets,” Financial Times, (March 20, 2007): 23.

75. Saskia Sassen, The Global City,  (Princeton University Press, 2001).

76. Anuj Gangahar, “Hedgistan is the new Wall Street,” Financial Times, (February 27, 2007): 6.

77. Edmund Andrews, “Streamlining a 68 German Blimp,” New York Times, (February 29, 2000): C1.

78. Saskia Sassen, “Global Financial Centers,” Foreign Affairs, (January/February 1999): 83.

79. Christen Weller, “Global Banking,” Foreign Policy in Focus, 3:9, (May 1998): 1.

80.  Richard Waters, “Silicon Valley veteran opens Beijing office,” Financial Times (April 24, 2007): 20.

81. Peter Sinton, “Still Banking on the Net,” San Francisco Chronicle, (August 10, 2000): C1.

82. Richard Waters, “Silicon Valley veteran opens Beijing office,” Financial Times (April 24, 2007): 20.

83. Richard Waters, “Bubble 2.0?,” Financial Times, (May 1, 2007): 7.

84. Paul Taylor, “A show of strength in technology,” Financial Times, (July 14, 2006): 7.

85. Geoff Dyer, “The dragon’s lab – how China is rising through the innovation ranks” Financial Times, (January 5, 2007): 7.

86. Jean Yaremchuk, “All the World’s A Venture Capital,” (August 17, 2000) www.news.com

87. Jacob Kirkegaard, “Offshoring, Outsourcing, and Production Relocation—Labor-Market Effects in the OECD Countries and Developing Asia,” Peterson Institute for International Economics, Wash. DC (April 2007): 22.

88. Karl Marx, Capital, (New York: International Press, 1958): 457.

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