The Topple Rate: How Fast Do Leading Companies Fall?

Patrick Viguerie, a McKinsey & Co. consultant, has developed what he calls the Topple Rate: a measure of how many market-leading companies lose that status during the next five years. In the early 1970s, he says, it was about 8%. By the 1997-2002 period, it had climbed to 16%. Rigorous data for the past few years aren’t yet in, but Mr. Viguerie believes the rate has held steady or perhaps even climbed.

– From the Wall St. Journal in a story about Countrywide’s fall from its #1 spot, and its still-possible collapse