The Do-Gooder Corporation
A Duty to Shareholder Value
Despite contrary claims by some academics and Occupy Wall Street-type partisans, this remains the law today. A 2010 decision, for example, eBay Domestic Holdings Inc. v. Newmark, held that corporate directors are bound by "fiduciary duties and standards" which include "acting to promote the value of the corporation for the benefit of its stockholders."It’s Law, But It Shouldn’t Be
Most large businesses buy their corporate charters from the state of Delaware. And the law of Delaware is clear about corporate purpose. The chief justice of the Delaware Supreme Court, Leo Strine, put it simply in a recent law review article: “Directors must make stockholder welfare their sole end.” In cases where directors have acknowledged sacrificing shareholder interests for other groups, Delaware courts have found those directors violated their fiduciary duties.The titles of the other pieces:
Corporations Don’t Have to Maximize ProfitsArguments from the interests of a ruling political and moral authority, regulating in its own interest. There's another way to argue against shareholder power. Shareholders can destroy corporations for short term gain. The glib version: since corporations now are people, do stockholders have an obligation to ensure their care and feeding and continued existence?
Social Good Is Not Inconsistent with Profit
A Good Corporate Accounting of Social Costs Is Needed
A banker's job, viewed from the ideal of efficiency, is making money. I'm not sure I'd want to be operated on by a brain surgeon who didn't see his job as brain surgery.
The only universal foundation required of a just society is the right to leave.
Tag lines maybe, but so what.