Ever heard of Goldman Sachs Structured Products Limited? How about GS Holdings L.L.C. II.? No? Both are nodes on a web of more than 4000 holding companies, woven by the Goldman Sachs Group to evade taxes on its — let's see here — $US8.61 billion in annual profits. It's an incredibly complex operation, and thanks to this interactive map, we're now able to explore it.
Corey Doctorow points us in the direction of a new data visualisation tool from OpenCorporates, the open database that keeps track of corporate information. The interactive map lets you choose amongst six of the largest corporations in America (Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JP Morgan, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley) to follow the convoluted web of holding companies each entity has assembled to funnel their earnings across the globe.
Many companies shroud themselves in dozens of layers of control — and according to the creator, almost a third of each network are registered in nations known as tax havens. It's a very real representation of the old 30 Rock joke that GE is just a holding company for the all-powerful Sheinhardt Wig Company. [OpenCorporates via Boing Boing]