CorpWatch’s New CrocTail and API


I’ve been out of Washington this week as you might have gathered from by tweeting but I did want to mention that this week, Sunlight supported CrocTail and CorpWatch API launched, aimed at providing easy access to SEC-derived corporate subsidiary data. Both are the handiwork of Corpwatch, a non-profit that employs investigative research and journalism to expose corporate malfeasance and to advocate for multinational corporate accountability and transparency. Here’s a link to CorpWatch’s press release announcing the launch.

CrocTail allows users to browse through information about several hundred thousand U.S. publicly traded corporations and their foreign and domestic subsidiaries. CorpWatch has parsed and annotated information from company SEC filings to highlight specific corporate accountability issues.

The goal is to make it easy for users to research the structure of corporations and pinpoint where they operate. For instance, CrocTail can help ferret out such corporate abuses as multinational tax-avoidance and the use of off-shore subsidiaries to evade responsibility for human rights abuses. Tonya Hennessey, CorpWatch’s project director, gives two egregious examples of corporations using subsidiaries to hide their investments in dictatorial and violent regimes: Chevron in Burma and Marathon Oil in Equatorial Guinea, two of the most repressive governments on the planet.

The CorpWatch API provides a well-structured interface for Web programs to query and process subsidiary data, easing the use of SEC data, which is not standardized otherwise.

Check CorpWatch out! CrocTail and CorpWatch’s API are their latest efforts to expose war profiteering, fraud, environmental, human rights and other abuses by multinationals, and to provide critical information to foster a more informed public and an effective democracy. Sunlight supported CorpWatch’s new programs.

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  • I just wanted to let you know that we’ve just released a 2nd version of Croctail that now includes filings from 2003 to present. We’ll be updating the data every month or so. Please feel free to send us any comments. Thanks!

  • Anna Haynes

    > where’s the best place, online, to ask questions

    Well, this doesn’t seem to be it. I guess I go back to pestering poor Bill.

  • Is there a way to see _current_ ownership patterns for a corporation?

    I know they file a “Statement of acquisition of [or changes in] beneficial ownership by individuals”, but that just documents the delta, not the full current state – I don’t see a way to see that, e.g., Joe Smith owns 11% and Berkshire Hathaway owns 25%.

    And where’s the best place, online, to ask questions like this? (I’ve pestered Bill Allison in the past, but I suspect it’s not his job…)