Every year, Fortune magazine publishes a list of the 500 top companies in the world,
called the Fortune Global 500. The top 100 from the latest list accessible for free (now you
have to be a subscriber!), published in July 2001, is shown below. Only four years before, Japanese
companies held the top three positions and eleven of the top twenty. But a prolonged recession and
the effects of deregulation have affected these corporations pretty radically. This combined with
the continued growth of the US economy helped push American companies into the top spots. Ranked by
country, US has the most with 192, while Japan is second with 88 out of the top 500 (2003 ranking).