Western Union

Migration is so central to Western Union that forecasts of border
movements drive the company’s stock. Its researchers outpace the Census Bureau
in tracking migrant locations. Long synonymous with Morse code, the
company now advertises in Tagalog and Twi and runs promotions for
holidays as obscure as Phagwa and Fiji Day. Its executives hail
migrants as “heroes” and once tried to oust a congressman because of
his push for tougher immigration laws…

With five times as many locations worldwide as McDonald’s, Starbucks, Burger King and Wal-Mart
combined, Western Union is the lone behemoth among hundreds of money
transfer companies… Last year migrants from poor countries sent home $300 billion, nearly three times the world’s foreign aid budgets combined.

Here is the full story, which is consistently interesting throughout.


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