Det. Thorn: Something stinks here.
Hatcher: Look. You’ll sign this. And I’ll bury it.
Det. Thorn: Like hell you will. A member of the board of the Soylent Corporation was torn apart with a meat hook! You can’t sweep that carcass under the rug. Who bought you?
Hatcher: You’re bought as soon as they pay you a salary.
Det. Thorn: Yeah, well, who is “they?”
Yesterday the CEO’s of many major U.S. companies including those of Apple, J.P. Morgan, and Walmart issued a
press release proclamation through a group called the Business Roundtable that public corporations should no longer prioritize only the interests of shareholders, even if that means that shareholders will receive fewer monetary benefits because of this change.
Putting aside the intrinsic reality that in order to run a successful corporation and ultimately maximize shareholder value these non-shareholder groups already must be given consideration, there’s a much more pressing question: Who are these shareholders?
At the top of that list are current retirees and all those people saving for retirement through IRA’s, 401k’s, 403b’s etc. In other words the majority of adult Americans. Right behind that group are those collecting a pension or expecting to be in the future. The largest component of pensioners present and future is those working for state and municipal governments such as police officers, firemen, teachers, and sanitation workers.. Therefore any curtailment of shareholder proceeds to pay these pensions would have to be made up by taxpayers. In other words the overwhelming majority of Americans, adult and those soon to be.
In light of this revelation, I find it awfully magnanimous that the CEO’s of America are so willing to all come together and redistribute a little/some/a lot of the shareholders cash. Ironically, there was not a single mention in the Business Roundtable press release of the CEO’s willingness to relinquish any of their own remuneration to alleviate the needs of others. 1 Instead, they just point the finger at “shareholders.”
A lot more on the irony of this proclamation in weeks to come when I and everyone else gets back from vacation. Just couldn’t leave this hanging there w/o my view on it.
- Sure, sure, they will quickly point to the fact that they are very large shareholders in their own corporations too, but unlike conventional workers they almost always are made whole by any impingement whatsoever. More on this in the coming weeks [↩]