State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company was founded on June 7, 1922, by George J. Mecherle, a retired farmer. It initially concentrated on meeting auto insurance needs of Illinois farmers through a mutual organization owned by the customers. By 1942, the company was the nation's largest auto insurer, a ranking it has held ever since. About one out of every five cars on the road is insured with State Farm®. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is a mutual insurance company and as such does not have any shareholders.
Corruption has many faces - accounting fraud, influence peddling, insider trading, and even the role of lobbying and perks-for-favors. This section examines general questions of ethics, the role of money in politics, and white-collar crime.
Suez Environnement is one of a handful of global companies that dominate the contentious business of providing drinking water and waste collection services on a for-profit basis. Operating in about 30 countries, it provides water services to some 76 million people and trash services to 51 million. Suez Environnement was previously a part of the French services conglomerate Suez but was spun off in 2008 when Suez merged with Gaz de France to form GDF Suez, which retains a 35 percent holding in Suez Environnement.
Bechtel has probably done more than any other corporation to shape the built environment of the planet. For the past century it has overseen construction of many of the world’s largest bridges, dams, pipelines, refineries, smelters, nuclear power plants, subway systems and airports as well as entire cities in places such as Saudi Arabia. Its ability to win these contracts has been aided by the company’s large network of relationships with the power elites of the United States and many other countries.
The Archer Daniels Midland Corporation (ADM) has been the most prominent recipient of corporate welfare in recent U.S. history. ADM and its chairman Dwayne Andreas have lavishly fertilized both political parties with millions of dollars in handouts and in return have reaped billion-dollar windfalls from taxpayers and consumers.
The company is the world leader in integrated power plant, in power production services and air quality control systems. Alstom works with all energy forms (coal, gas, nuclear, fuel-oil, hydropower, wind). Alstom will provide the conventional island for the future EPR nuclear power plant in France. The Group is also developing CO2 capture processes that could lead to commercial scale in the medium term.
In the field of rail transport, Alstom is the global number one in terms of orders.
Daimler, one of the world’s leading producers of motor vehicles, dates back to operations set up by the two German engineers widely credited with inventing the automobile. The company’s profile diminished sharply in 2007 when it sold off third-ranking U.S. carmaker, Chrysler, which it had joined in a high-profile merger nine years earlier. Daimler is trying to survive the ongoing crisis in the auto industry with a product line that includes both high-end Mercedes-Benz luxury models and the inexpensive micro compact Smart Car.
Prudential Financial, Inc. is a financial services company. As of February, 2008, the Company had approximately $784 billion of assets under management. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, the Company offers an array of financial products and services, including life insurance, mutual funds, annuities, pension and retirement-related services and administration, asset management, banking and trust services, real estate brokerage and relocation services, and, through a joint venture, retail securities brokerage services.
Barrick Gold Corporation, the largest pure gold mining company in the world, is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. It has four regional business units (RBU's) located in Australia, Africa, North America, and South America. Barrick is currently undertaking mining and exploration projects in Papua New Guinea, the United States, Canada, Australia, Peru, Chile, Russia, South Africa, Argentina, and Tanzania. On January 20, 2006, Barrick acquired a majority share of Placer Dome.
Fluor is an Irving, Texas-based (formerly Irvine, California) company that specializes in construction for a vast array of industries. Fluor boasts a workforce of around 50,000 and billions of dollars in sales, government contracts and backlogged contracts. Fluor operates all around the world, working on energy resource extraction projects in Alaska’s North Slope, in the Tar Sands of Canada, and on the Pacific coast of Russia. Fluor develops oil infrastructure for giants like ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco.
Formerly known as British Aerospace, BAE Systems has grown into one of the world’s largest aviation and weapons companies, with major operations not only in the United Kingdom but also in Australia, South Africa, Sweden, Saudi Arabia and the United States, where it is now one of the Pentagon’s largest contractors. BAE is one of the top producers of armored combat vehicles such as the Bradley Fighting Vehicle (widely used by the U.S. military in Iraq), but the company also produces fighter planes, missiles, nuclear submarines, military electronics and other tools of war.