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one of the forms of capital concentration.

In diversifying their production, firms penetrate into sectors and fields that are new for them; they enlarge their range of goods and gradually transform themselves into multisector complexes. Diversification is based on the attempt of capitalist firms to maintain their business under conditions of uneven economic development, with rapid growth of some sectors and decline or stagnation of others. The process of diversification has developed particularly since the mid-1950’s. Diversification has grown in industry, transport, construction, and the financial field in the USA, Western Europe, and Japan.

The nature of diversification is determined by the socioeconomic traits of the given country. Nevertheless, there are certain general factors (pertaining to all countries) that affect its development: the scientific-technological revolution, the struggle for high profits, the need to seek out new spheres for the application of profits, the militarization of the economy, the competitive struggle, and the fear of lagging behind in technical progress. As a result of diversification, firms and especially the monopolies have acquired a multisector character; they penetrate first of all into new, highly profitable fields with high growth rates, such as electronics and chemistry. It is advantageous for companies to take the path of combined production, that is, to produce various goods from one and the same basic raw material. This type of production lowers the expenses of the companies, especially those for research; also, research frequently leads to inventions that are remote from the firm’s specialization.

The flow of capital from less profitable sectors into more profitable ones takes place by means of diversification, thus bypassing the traditional capital market. The function of founding new enterprises is gradually shifting to firms which, by diversifying their production, attempt to insure themselves against possible failures and bankruptcies, although such attempts often fail. The process of diversification is speeded up by the merger of separate, formerly independent companies; in the USA the number of such mergers in 1968 was 2,268, more than eight times their average number for the period 1950-54. The majority of these mergers were of a conglomerate character. American concerns have entered the fields of services, construction, real estate, and publishing. They also participate in developing instructional systems, buying and selling information, and leasing out equipment. With an eye to receiving government contacts, they plan slum clearances, design cities, install air and water purifying systems in populated areas, and so on. Under the influence of diversification the structure of firms is changing: from specialized companies they are being transformed into multisector complexes. Thus, steel firms are producing other metals and materials in addition to steel, and the former manufacturers of tin cans are producing containers made of various materials. Some firms have set themselves the task of introducing new technology, engaging in research, and utilizing inventions.

As the result of the merger of a large number of companies in the USA, major firms have been formed: conglomerates consisting of enterprises that do not have any sort of functional ties among themselves. Their rise is connected with various types of speculations, shady transactions, and machinations, in which many banks and mutual funds have taken part. The crisis that developed in 1969 affected the conglomerates, compelling them to sell off a part of their assets.


References in periodicals archive ?
The deal is structured to largely avoid taxes for the family trusts; the ability to depreciate the value of the real estate acquired will give the trusts some tax-deferred income, while the diversified portfolio of investments will reduce the family's concentration of assets.
is a real estate investment trust currently in its offering stage, focused on the ownership and management of a diversified portfolio, including retail, office, multi-family and industrial properties within the United States and Canada, either directly, or by acquiring REITs or other "real estate operating companies".
Mike should have an outstanding impact on our ability to execute on our strategy of building a diversified portfolio of high-quality real estate assets," said John Blumberg, chairman of Dividend Capital Total Realty Trust.
The Fund invests primarily in a diversified portfolio of common and preferred stocks that pay dividends that qualify for federal income taxation at long-term capital gain rates ("tax-favored dividends").
The Brascan SoundVest Diversified Income Fund is an actively managed investment fund which invests in a diversified portfolio of business trusts, power generation and pipeline trusts, oil and gas royalty trusts, and REITS.
The rating reflects the Club's strong risk-adjusted capitalisation and well diversified portfolio of risks.
The company's investment objective is to seek a high level of total return with an emphasis on current distributions to stockholders, by investing primarily in a diversified portfolio of master limited partnership (MLP) securities.
The bank has announced that it has launched a new service, Merrill Edge Select Portfolios, which is claimed to offer customers more access to actively managed, diversified portfolios.
MC), has said that it has launched its SmartPath Diversified Portfolios, an investment solution that allows assets to be actively managed by the company on a single integrated platform.

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