The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
I recall someone once pointing me to a story in the paper—late '80s? early '90s?—remarking on the fact that Microsoft Corp. had just passed General Motors in terms of total value (at least as measured by market capitalization). It seemed like one of those Moments, some sort of milestone in the march from the Industrial to the Information Age: GM, with several hundred thousand employees and an immense physical presence around the world, with massive factories and showrooms and all the rest, overtaken by a company with fewer than 10,000 employees and one small campus in Washington state.
Well, we may just have passed another such Moment. Bloomberg reports that, as of Aug. 1, for the first time, the five most valuable corporations in the world are all tech companies: Apple, Alphabet (Google), Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook. [And a note for the "Make America Great Again" crowd: They're also all based in the United States, foreign firms on previous Top 5 lists (Gazprom, Vodafone, Royal Dutch Shell, PetroChina) having failed to keep pace with the U.S. tech giants.]