Insights #2: How much money can our largest corporations spend fixing the world?

Our societies confront a number of critical challenges such as the transitions to a low-carbon economy and to a digital and aging society. Many expect a lot from business, begging the question of how much economic profits are available for any use, including investing in the future of the business. We find that in 2022 publicly-listed firms in 21 capitalist economies generated significant surpluses. Based on our economic profit measures, these companies have at most 2.8 trillion USD to deploy, with notable concentrations in the IT, health care, consumer discretionary, and industrial sectors.

14 Sep 2023 · Magaly Abboud, Fabio Bernasconi, Sára Czégé, Camilla Erencin, Simon J. Evenett, Alexander Gruber and Felix Reitz