This is an area in which possibilities have been churning about under the Raedwald helmet for some time - but I am neither scholar enough nor economist enough to research properly. The matters bubbling around are roughly:-
1. Global growth has stalled. Firms continue to generate profits by a mix of mergers and acquisitions and exploiting new 'emerging' markets but yield seems to be diminishing
2. More big firms have more market share than ever before; WTO / TTIP are efforts to push the boundaries of global market share by increasing global competition but between the mega global corporates i.e. horizontal not vertical competition
3. Barriers to entry into all sorts of business have grown due to over-regulation favoured and sponsored by global corporates as a way of excluding competition. There is much less competition at the mid and bottom ends of the markets. Global corporates can offer consumers in particular price advantages that can't be bettered.
4. Consumers and buyers / sellers in all markets are better informed than ever before - costs of risk have been radically reduced and market prices are more open and transparent than ever. If there's the prospect of a frost that takes out a yak harvest in Patagonia, London dealers on the yak market react instantly.
Is there a correlation between the growth of firms and the shrinking of global economic growth? Are big firms actually killing growth? Are we at the limits of growth and there's nowhere now to go? Would the world be better off if we broke up all the 'Bells' into mini-Bells? Do more market risk, imperfect knowledge and fragmented markets actually drive stronger growth and make us all better off?
Feel free to shoot me down in flames - happy to crash and burn on this (or be constructively informed, as you will...)