In many of the discussions about executive compensation and Wall Street bonuses, it has been noted that shareholders are, theoretically, supposed to exercise some control, at least via election of directors. However, retail investors rarely take the time to read their proxy statements, let alone vote. This morning Eliot Spitzer (yes, that Eliot Spitzer) wrote an article in Slate listing several websites that are trying to use technology to both educate shareholders and to inspire them to get active and take control of the companies they own.
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I wish this movement well. This is probably one of the ways in which absurd bonus payouts in what were actually bad years (for instance, when the money coming in is mostly a bailout package) and insane salaries for poor showings on the bottom line can start to be addressed.
That Eliot Spitzer is a valid, if not entirely trustworthy, commentator on these matters. As a writer on these topics he has some potentially valuable things to say.
We may be saying much of the same. See web site for publications.
My publisher and I agree with educating shareholders. Disproportionate shareholder rights to s/h responsibilities results in either privvate freeriding or public rent seeking that creates victimhood for noise traders.
Computer crashed yesterday and am doing this at the library so bear with me.