Among the top 50 corporations, 45 operate within the financial industry. Barclays PLC is the most powerful, according to the study, followed by such well-known names as JPMorgan Chase & Co., UBS AG, and Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. The United States takes home first prize with 24 companies cracking the researchers’ top 50 list, followed by the U.K. with 8, France with 5, Japan with 4, and Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands tying with 2 companies each.
The intense interconnection and concentration of power weakens market competition as players form blocs, according to the study. There’s another drawback to those close links, particularly among the banks: when one runs into problems its woes spread quickly to the others."