MONEY & POLITICS
THE RIGHT WING
Sources of Information on Corporations
Corporations command greater resources and exercise greater power
than any other type of organization in America. Large corporations
and the top executives and shareowners of large corporations are the
biggest contributors to both political parties. They create and
fund the think tanks and other research and advocacy organizations that
shape the direction of public policy formation. Corporations and
corporate trade associations are the most powerful lobbies in Washington
and in the the various state capitals. Through their ownership of
the mass media and their role as advertisers they have a powerful impact
on public opinion and popular consciousness. It is little wonder,
therefore, that large corporations and the top executives and
shareowners of large corporations occupy a central place in power
Fortunately, the Internet is a rich source of information on
corporations and corporate elites. Much of this information exists
to serve the interests of rich investors, but it is also valuable in
answering the questions posed by power structure research. Using
Internet sources you can determine who owns and controls major
corporations; find out the salaries of top executives; trace the web of
interlocking directorships that link corporations to one another; follow
the news of corporate mergers, acquisitions, takeovers, and lawsuits;
identify violators of environmental and other regulatory statutes; and
research the multiple channels of political influence employed by corporations. Below are some of the most useful online sources of
information on corporations and corporate elites.
SEC EDGAR Database. This
site, operated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, is the
single most comprehensive online source of data on
corporations. It provides downloadable copies of all SEC
reports. Especially useful are Form 10K (annual reports with
financial data) and Form DEF 14A (annual proxy statements with
information on officers and directors, stock ownership, executive pay, and motions
for the annual meeting). For
easiest access select "Search for Company Filings" followed
by "Company or fund name, ticker symbol, etc." and enter the name of the
corporation and the number of the form you wish to retrieve.
An essential site.
SEDAR Database. This site (similar to the SEC's EDGAR
Database) allows you to download reports filed by Canadian
corporations with the Canadian Securities Administration.
An alternative site for retrieving SEC and CSA filings. Offers
a variety of search options.
This watchdog site
provides news, analysis, research tools, and other resources for
activists fighting for corporate accountability, human rights,
social and environmental justice. Be sure
to check out their excellent "Hands-On Corporate Research Guide"
under the "Research" menu. Highly recommended.
(Public Information Network).
Helpful tips and extensive links for activists wishing to do research on
corporations. Particularly good data on the timber
industry. See the extensive resources listed on the
"Research Links" and "Research
Manuals" pages. Highly
Rule. This site provides a sophisticated graphical
interface that allows you to explore and produce maps of linkages
among board members of large U.S. corporations. The data is
not always current (it is updated every few years) and you are
limited to about 500 firms. Nevertheless, an excellent
research tool. Highly recommended.
Lamb's Prospect Research. This website is aimed at
people searching for potential donors to charitable causes,
including corporate donors, but it it also provides a wealth of more
general links and resources on corporations and their executives,
directors, and shareowners. Recommended.
Left Business Observer.
Provides a left-wing perspective on corporations and corporate
power. Extensive links
to other sites. Highly recommended
Provides a critical perspective on
multinational corporations. Good search engine. Highly
Hoover's Online. This site
is mainly for investors, but provides a good source of basic company
information and news. Especially valuable are the company
capsules, which can be reached from the "Browse Companies A-Z"
PR Newswire. Provides news
and press releases on corporations worldwide.
GMI Ratings. This site
provides data and analysis on corporate governance, boards of
directors, executive compensation, insider trading, shareholder
proposals, and more. Access to their research tools requires payment
of a fee, but a free trial may be requested (not available to
students). Interesting free material may be found on the Research
and the News & Events pages.
Executive Pay Watch.
by the AFL-CIO, this site provides information on the pay, bonuses,
and stock options of corporate chief executives. Be sure to check
out the instructions on how to find and use proxy statements on the
"CEO Pay Database" page.
- United for a Fair Economy. This site promotes popular
economic education. You can download a copy of their annual "Executive Excess"
CEO compensation survey, as well as their excellent
"Born on Third Base" study of the Forbes 400
You can also find information on corporations in several of the
proprietary databases accessed through the University of Oregon library.
The "Business" menu provides full text articles from newspapers,
magazines, and journals; company financial data; SEC filings and
reports; and news from over 25 industries.
Premier. Provides full text articles from nearly 3,300
journals covering business, management, economics, banking, finance,
accounting, and more. Also includes the Datamonitor
Company Profiles, accessed through the "Company
Profiles" tab, which provide basic company information on
thousands of large corporations worldwide.
company information and financial data on more than 10,000 publicly
traded corporations and 17,000 private companies [no longer
available at UO library].
Source. This database provides selected full text for 143
domestic and international newspapers, many of which are not included in
Academic Universe (Lexis-Nexis).
Newspaper. For regional companies, try this
database. It provides full text of articles published in the
newspaper from 1987 to the present.
This database provides full text articles from 570 periodicals, including
both popular magazines and professional journals.
Index. Provides indexing for over 200 alternative and
radical publications. A good place to look for critical
perspectives on corporations.
Finally you can do a general search of the Internet for
company information using any of the
leading search engines. See the Search Engine page for tips.
Copyright © 2013 by Val Burris