Does Maximizing Shareholder Value Endanger America's Great Companies?

Corporations are the engines of America’s prosperity. Yet The Economist says they are an endangered species. In the last 15 years, the number of publicly listed corporations has shrunk by almost 50 percent! Worse, polls tell us corporations have lost much public favor and are sometimes even seen as destructive to the general welfare. The result is the threat of ever more regulation. What is happening? And why? Are corporations responding to the wrong incentives? If so, is it because today’s shareholders are more typically short-term speculators than long-term investors? What is the purpose of the corporation?

Festival: 2012

More on this Session

Read transcript now

Watch and Listen: Economy

Globalization ushered in an era of free trade, fluid borders, and unparalleled corporate profits. For its proponents,... See more
What does it take for a team, business, or nonprofit to achieve audacious goals? Venture capitalist John Doerr argues... See more
Will the boom in asset prices come to an end, and should it? How spectacular will the correction be? Will tax cuts... See more
Financial-technology innovation is accelerating globally, making financial services more affordable, convenient, and... See more
The United States and Germany have much in common: advanced industrial economies, high living standards, first-class... See more
Most of us know the entrepreneurial success stories of places like Silicon Valley, the Research Triangle, and Boston.... See more

Pages