So, anyone know where this economic data is?

For a piece I\’m considering doing. I\’m interested in the way that large companies have become very much larger under the influence of globalisation.

My basic thought is that to get into the FTSE 100 (or, further back, FT 30) a company would be large by UK domestic standards but not necessarily by global standards. This has now obviously changed.

So what I\’m looking for is some sort of comparison of the FTSE 100 (or FT 30, or DJ Index, any will do) to GDP size. Perhaps turnover of such companies, or profits, compared to the size of the economy.

My basic point being that sure, pay for managers has risen hugely. I\’m just interested in being able to compare the principal/agent problem with the fact that these companies have become hugely (at least I think they have) larger.

Anyone got pointers to such figures? Ken?

Tim adds: Thanks Paul, yes, that is the right thing to be looking for.

8 thoughts on “So, anyone know where this economic data is?”

  1. Tim, the selection of companies for inclusion in the FTSE index depends on market capitalisation rther than revenue/turnover or profits. The FTSE index goes back to your childhood (well, it was well-established when I first got interested 40+ years ago). If you are willing to pay FTSE, they will supply you with data on the components of the index; I should be very surprised if they did not have data on the market capitalisation of the index; however if you want data on the turnover, profits or net assets of these companies your best bet is Companies House, (

  2. oh, for Pete’s sake …
    (GBP1 per set of accounts that I download). The FT30 were not necessarily the biggest companies: they were major companies whose share price movements would reflect the mood of the stock market.
    There has undoubtedly been a greater concentration into the FTSE 100 over the last 30 years as a result of takeovers, with demergers (such as Vodafone out of Racal) being much less significant.
    If you are desperate for help I could ask #1 son who is better at maths (and more relevantly data processing) than you or I to sort out reality from the published data but, not being an OAP or an oligopolist, he might want to get paid for his work.

  3. sees that Dearieme has no understanding and just does a piss on the floor. The Cambridge reaction. My guess is that she is Queenie Leavis.

    define your question…there are sites such as trustnet where you can pull down graphs of stock price performance and there are OECD sites where you can,pull down graphs of GDP and there is http://www.gapminder.org/

  4. Dearieme, you’re half way there (and Tim is on to something). Exec pay is not for unique ability, skill, responsibility etc. Nor is it looting. It is the bribe/protection money shareholders have to pay to prevent the outright looting such execs would otherwise do. The bigger the co, the more it is worth paying to stop them looting.

    Cf sports players. You have to pay them enough not to throw matches. Pakistani players were badly paid, and seem to have more of a tendency to bowl dodgy no balls. You get iffy results in the Bangladesh 20/20, not the IPL, Italian div 2, not Serie A.

    Not my insight. Chris Dillow I think.

  5. The original ft 30 was a price weighted index a bit like the Dow jones and was similarly representative of the most Importent companies rather than necessarily the biggest by market cap. Rather amusingly since it was a geometrically weighted index it was theoretically set to go to zero when rolls Royce was about to go bust in the 1970s.the ft-all share is more representative of the largest companies but only goes back to the 1960s. That said I think the premise is flawed; market cap reflects not just profits but multiples paid for a piece of those profits in turn reflecting growth expectations. To some extent that could reflect globalisation producing higher profitability, but the UK has always had a lot of overseas earnings in the stock market – legacy of empire and all that. Management pay has only recently been linked to profits or indeed share price performance and it wasn’t till dotcom that there was much in the way of gearing via options. Plus the uk has a much larger equity market as a share of gdp than the rest of Europe largely down to the pension system that used to be the envy of the world until Gordo stuffed it. With franked income on dividends, pension funds liked the high gross yields making equity an attractive source of corporate funding. So it’s more about market structure than globalisation

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