In reality, the market is nothing but a directed network. Companies, firms, corporations, financial institutions, governments, and all potential economic players are the nodes. Links quantify various interactions between these institutions, involving purchases and sales, joint research and marketing projects and so forth. The weight of the links captures the value of the transactions, and the direction points from the provider to the receiver.
They are unavoidable, however, if we view the economy as a complex network, whose nodes are companies and whose links represent the various economic and financial ties connecting them. Indeed, in a network economy the hubs must get bigger as the network grows. To satisfy their hunger for links, nodes of the business web learn to swallow the smaller nodes, a novel method used in other networks. As globalization pressures the nodes to grow bigger, mergers and acquisitions are a natural consequence of an expanding economy.
The structure and evolution of this weighted and directed network determine the outcome of all macroeconomic processes.