“The shareholder value doctrine is not dead, but we are beginning to see major cracks in its armor. And as long as investors, customers and employees continue to push for more responsible behavior, you should expect to see those cracks grow.”
“This reality leaves us with two critical and wickedly tough questions:
- How can groups across socio-economic and political divides get better aligned on the current reality we’re facing?
- What is the appropriate approach, including taxation and regulation strategies, to produce the economic, environmental, and social outcomes we need to survive and thrive for generations to come?
Business leaders need to help answer these questions or run the risk of getting uncomfortable answers foisted upon them.”
“The belief that corporations are people has, in some sense, always been a sham. Over the course of two centuries, a diverse group of lawyers and clients—as law professor Adam Winkler shows in his book We the Corporations—performed a slow-motion legal magic trick. Corporations like Citizens United and Hobby Lobby […] gradually worked to transform themselves: from fictitious legal entities, called into being by the state, into holders of individual rights, allowing them to claim constitutional protections against the very governments that created them. And if corporations are people—as law professor Kent Greenfield argues in Corporations Are People Too — then perhaps we can use that dubious status to force them to clean up their acts.”
“Rosabeth Moss Kanter, professor at Harvard Business School, believes the world demands a new kind of business leader. She says so-called “advanced leaders” work inside and outside their companies to tackle big issues such as climate change, public health, and social inequality. She gives real-life examples and explains how business leaders can harness their experience, networks, innovative approaches, and the power of their organizations to solve challenging problems. Kanter is the author of the book .”
“It’s not enough to presume that capitalism inherently favors the rich. The possibility that policy is to blame deserves a deeper look.”
More info on the book reviewed: Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System That Rules the World (2019)
“Corporate governance is undergoing a sea change, as the longstanding principle of “shareholder primacy” gives way to broader concerns. But recognition of social, environmental, governance, and data stewardship issues is not enough; company boards must also figure out how to integrate shareholder value with corporate responsibility.”
“As my colleagues Michael Porter, George Serafeim, and I point out in a recent article, “Where ESG Fails,” most sustainability reporting is unreliable, inconsistent, and largely covers factors that are immaterial both to the economic performance of the company and to the company’s global impact. […] If Fink is correct in predicting that capital will increasingly be allocated to those companies with the most sustainable business models, then investors will need new sources of data to understand and anticipate the economic significance of sustainability strategies.”
Whether you are interested in American capitalism or rather take a global perspective, want to know more about the history of capitalism or its future, have a background in economics or not: one of these five online courses will surely be right for you.
“As political leaders and corporate titans gather in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, they would do well to consider how the abstract ideal of ‘stakeholder capitalism’ can be translated into reality. The key to changing the behavior of economic and political elites alike is to change what is measured.”
“Civil society organisations, academics and journalists have begun questioning whether responsible investment can bring about the level and pace of change required to enable an inclusive climate change transition. They are also highlighting the high risk of greenwashing – when companies set ambitious climate goals but have no plans for how to get there. To better understand whether the financial industry is really shifting, we looked to South Africa, a country with a leading regulatory framework for responsible investment.
“In response to the Great Depression, the United States Senate commissioned a report to measure the country’s national income. […] GDP was been a workhorse for measuring national well-being ever since. But cracks are appearing. Environmental degradation and growing income inequality are just two sources of discontent with the measurement of GDP.”
Interested in this topic? See also the Moral Markets bookshelf on economic growth & GDP
“the die-hard advocates of free markets do not exclusively belong to politics or policy environments. They seem to have the solid guarantee of academic respectability. A prominent case is Gregory Mankiw’s Principles of Economics (1998), possibly now the most widely adopted and influential textbook in economics; a quick glance at the book’s introduction teaches one the ten ‘principles’ of the economic discipline that define the relationship between incentive-driven individual decisions and the aggregate welfare generated by trade in competitive markets. The present essay is an attempt at instilling some doubt about this view, while retaining the basic premises of its holders.”
“Despite the Left’s claims, free marketeers don’t believe in trickle down economics either. It’s laughable to claim that Britain’s economy is one of ‘unfettered capitalism’. For one thing, the UK does not have a ‘free market model’, but a mixed economy in which government spending accounts for about 40% of GDP.”
“In Mean Girl: Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed, Lisa Duggan offers a new thesis on the infamous literary, cultural and political icon, Ayn Rand, exploring how the adoption of many of her philosophical and political ideas and beliefs helped fuel the insidious shift towards neoliberalism. Duggan’s skills as a cultural historian and her sharp-witted socio-political commentary fuse seamlessly together in this short yet fascinating book that is a necessary read for students of culture and politics, as well as activists and organisers, writes Ellen Reid.”
“Economists necessarily lack evidence about alternative institutional arrangements that are distant from our current reality. The challenge is to remain true to empiricism without crowding out the imagination needed to envisage the inclusive and freedom-enhancing institutions of the future.” (article by Dani Rodrik)