THE BLOG

The Cures for Corpocracy - 1

10/07/2010 01:29 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

1--Enforce the LAW.

It is manifestly the case that corporations are running America. If you think that is a good idea, read no further. If you think it's a prescription for disaster, read on.

There are two obvious ways to mitigate the dangers of this corpocracy. One would likely require a constitutional amendment to remove corporations from politics. The other would make corporations responsible to their owners, the vast majority of whom are the people of America.

Bob Monks has for decades been one of the world's leading (some say "most feared") shareholder activists. He is an attorney, serial entrepreneur and (full disclosure) a friend.

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The logic is simple. The majority of the shares in America's publicly traded companies are held in trust for American citizens. These trustees have a legal and ethical obligation to protect and sustain the interests of those citizens, NOT the selfish interests of managers and executives. Laws already exist requiring these trustees to exercise their fiduciary responsibilities. All that is required is that these laws be vigorously and consistently enforced.

This is a straightforward solution achievable by executive fiat. It would be good for the substantial percentage of Americans who own shares. Ultimately, it would also save capitalism from the terminal greed of self-serving executives. Q.E.D.

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*-- Corpocracy: How CEOs and the Business Roundtable Hijacked the World's Greatest Wealth Machine--and How to Get It Back is Bob Monk's excellent summary of the sources and dangers of "corpocracy" and of the cure.
The full audio of the program from which the video excerpt was take is available here.
A short video on "corpocracy" is here.