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Economics from the Top Down, Toronto
The planet has a billionaire problem. According to Oxfam, the world’s billionaires have more combined wealth than the bottom 60% of humanity — some 4.6 billion people. Given this obscene situation, calls are growing to rid the world of the billionaire class. But how do we make that happen? We think that part of the answer is to understand billionaire’s network of control. Many billionaires are happy to have their net worth tracked by Forbes — they treat it as an accumulation horse race.1 But what billionaires don’t like is for people to understand how they wield power. On that front, behind ever billionaire is a complicated network of corporate control — a network that is seldom made public. We’d like to change that. In this post, we’ll map the ownership network of ten billionaire families in Canada. Why Canada? Well, because we’re Canadian researchers. But more importantly, because the statistics arm of the Canadian government has done the heavy lifting for us. For the last decade, Statistics Canada has maintained a database on the inter-corporate ownership of Canadian corporations — a database that it bills as a “unique directory of ‘who owns what’ in Canada”. This corporate-ownership database contains a trove of information about how the rich wield power. In this post, we’ll begin to explore the data by mapping the ownership network of the following billionaire families: The McCain Family, The Katz Family, The Fidani Family, The Richardson Family, The Saputo Family, The Rogers Family, The Pattison Family, The Irving Family, The Weston Family, The Thomson Family
ownership and control
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