Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Yes, you do seem to miss my point (though at the comments=19 mark, the other remarks on the thread don't even aim at it).

What I reject is the fundamental concept that corporations maximise shareholder value by maximising the value of the corporation's shares. The reason is that investors (predictably) have other interests, e.g., in other corporations' share values. Accordingly, for a corporation's shareholders, on average, the value of an action is not its value to the corporation.

What I find attractive is redefining the responsibility of corporate decision makers to allow them to increase shareholder value as measured by more realistic, extended standards -- even if this reduces the value of the corporation's shares.

This is radically different from internalising externalities by conglomeration, or by emissions trading, or by any other means. It is instead (with caveats) legitimising the creation of large positive externalities (and the avoidance of large negative ones), despite (lesser) internal costs.

This thesis rejects Milton Friedman's famous statement that "there is one and only one social responsibility of business -- to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game", and does so on the very grounds often used to support it. This feature could give it ideological traction.

(Please excuse my excessive use of emphasis.)

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.

by technopolitical on Fri Dec 22nd, 2006 at 01:45:34 PM EST
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