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That's My Money You're Using

Citation

Publication Date: 
March 29, 2010
Format: 
Magazine Article
Bibliography: Ronald Gilson & Michael Klausner, That's My Money You're Using Forbes Magazine, March 29, 2010, pg. 28.

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On Jan. 21 the Supreme Court ruled in the Citizens United case that the First Amendment protects political speech by corporations. Corporate speech consists of managers using corporate funds for political activity. If shareholders object, what can they do? Vote against the board? Sell their shares?

Under existing corporate law stockholders' ability to influence how management runs a corporation's business is largely limited to annually electing a board of directors. Stockholders' interests are supposed to be solely financial: Management maximizes the return on stockholders' investment and stockholders pass judgment on management performance when they elect directors. When stockholders share this common concern with profits a simple governance system serves them and the economy well.