Monday Message Board

Another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link


http://eepurl.com/dAv6sX You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page

48 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Australian citizens arrested for protesting that we are not acting appropriately with respect to Anthropogenic Global Warming, especially seeing that it is their future that goes up in smoke.

    Meanwhile, a bunch of multi-billionaire techheads think that merely capturing CO2 from the sky is a way of “fixing” the problem. I am trying to be respectful here, but they clearly have a deficit of knowledge with respect to oceanic CO2 reservoirs, the idea of buffers in chemistry, or the most elementary fact that if you remove CO2 from the atmosphere, the ocean will release as much as is required to reach a new chemical equilibrium point. The ocean contains far more CO2 than is in the atmosphere—in short, it is an uneven contest. Aside from the fact that in the 1990’s and 2000’s, the most vociferous opposition to Kyoto and a truly international agreement was that it was telling individual nations how to behave; as if the deliberate removal of CO2 from the global atmosphere won’t have deleterious effects upon the climate of many regions. Winners, and Losers. Odd how they don’t notice the asymmetry of the two arguments.

    So far, the teenagers seem to have a better grasp of what is at stake than the parents (in particular, the cops and their political masters) who would arrest them for making a point that the current political system is broken with respect to dealing with AGW.

    We make the teenagers into the enemy, but guess what? They are your kids that are out there, getting arrested by parents of children. Wake up, Australia.

  2. The Nobel Peace Prize will be announced soon. Greta Thunberg is the bookies’ favourite but I don’t think she’ll win it.

    Why not? Because she is Swedish and the Prize is awarded by Norwegians. There’s nothing Norwegians like better than trolling the Swedes.

  3. Photographs in certain media of the scrum rushing to climb Uluru before the ban on climbing commences on 26 October have prompted the following thought.

    There is a chain supported by metal pitons on the slope of Uluru to assist climbers, and the photographs show quite large numbers of climbers all clinging to the chain at the same time. It occurs to me that those responsible for installing the chain back in the day probably made decisions about the load that the chain would need to be able to bear based on assumptions of the numbers of climbers that a typical peak tourist period would bring, and did not anticipate the current situation of an obscene mob rush to get in before the ban kicks in. This in turns prompts one to wonder whether there is a risk of the maximum load that the chain can take being exceeded, and what the consequences might be if the chain suddenly gives way while the sort of numbers we see in the photographs are swinging from it.

    Such considerations should, in turn, give Uluru managers grounds to consider whether they have a duty of care, between now and 26 October, to restrict the number of climbers at any one time in order to avoid the scenario I described in the previous paragraph.

  4. Paul Norton

    You raise a valid point. For safety reasons there are strict regulations on the number of people who are allowed at any time to climb that other great object of Australian cultural significance, the Sydney Harbour Bridge. They are also properly harnessed. The same should apply to Uluru.

  5. I climbed it back in the mid 80s and the chain was pretty filled up then (I remember being concerned about that at the time), but I also remember how steep it was too. Certainly, if there was a structural failure there would be guaranteed fatalities and lots of them. The numbers on there certainly need to be controlled.

  6. J-D

    Yes, but no Swedes for a long time. Australians are at a disadvantage. We don’t produce any notorious terrorists or war criminals who can get the Prize for ceasing to be terrorists or war criminals.

  7. Smith9 said “produce any notorious terrorists or war criminals who can get the Prize for ceasing to be terrorists or war criminals.”… that we Australians will know of…

    “Drake was a former senior executive at the US National Security Agency, and leaked information about the NSA’s data gathering in 2006. He was prosecuted under the Espionage Act in 2010, but the case collapsed.

    “Drake said the cancellation of his speech on the “golden age of surveillance” was “Orwellian” and the first time, anywhere in the world, he has had a speech cancelled at a conference.

    “This is the first time ever I’ve been censored at a conference. How ironic it is here in Australia,” said Drake.

    “I was literally on the agenda up until a few days ago. The link appears to be whistleblowing.

    “If you are a whistleblower, you are persona non grata. I think there was significant pressure at the last minute at what appears to be a review of the entire agenda.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/oct/08/us-whistleblower-thomas-drake-says-speech-was-cancelled-due-to-government-pressure

    “US Attorney-General William Barr and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton announced the negotiations…”
    Dutton & Barr – she’ll be right maaate.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/way-of-the-future-australia-and-us-negotiating-access-to-law-enforcement-data-20191008-p52ynm.html

  8. “US Attorney-General William Barr and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton announced the negotiations…”
    Dutton & Barr – she’ll be right maaate.”
    Yeah, the existing arrangements of “it’s illegal for the gov and their intel agencies to spy on their citizens data without some form of judicial blessing or valid reason” – but there’s nothing stopping foreign “allies” doing so and “sharing the data” is just too cumbersome for the flourishing misuse and needs some form of formalisation to efficiently and effectively expand.

  9. Maaatey, the liblab duopoly is fully controlled by big corporate board dark money donors. Who owns those big corporate boards? Aussie mums and dads, is it? No, the boards are now majority owned hostages of US Inc, so what it says and what MIC partner wants is the go for Australia. What other alternative does a Home Affairs Minister in pathetic lickspittle Australia have?
    https://theconversation.com/worried-about-agents-of-foreign-influence-just-look-at-who-owns-australias-biggest-companies-123343

  10. J-D

    Yes, but no Swedes for a long time.

    That may be so, but why would the Norwegian attitude to Swedes have changed since then?

    Australians are at a disadvantage. We don’t produce any notorious terrorists or war criminals who can get the Prize for ceasing to be terrorists or war criminals.

    Is that how you would describe Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad (2018 winners) or Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousufszai (2014 winners)?

  11. Maaatey, the liblab duopoly is fully controlled by big corporate board dark money donors.

    Citation needed.

  12. Lefties should get wise and support the religious freedom laws. It’s a way to start fighting back against corporate code of conducts with 1984 type restrictions on employee behaviour. Religious freedom is not just conservative Christian freedom.

  13. Poselequation

    Yassir Arafat and Menachem Begin come to mind immediately. There were in the Osama bin Laden league of peace makers.

    Undoubtedly there are others.

  14. J-D the analysis is by Clinton Fernandes himself it seems. The graph in article has a link…
    https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/x0ODc/2/
    … and at the bottom of the data wrapper link is a “get the data” link but it seems not to be formatted correctly.

    I’d also like to see ownership globally and in particular superannuation fund managers and beneficial / ownership by other proxies.

    Citation needed. Who cares about ownership IF governance appropriate AND tax paid.

    Here is one…

    “For the first time on record, the 400 wealthiest Americans last year paid a lower total tax rate — spanning federal, state and local taxes — than any other income group, according to newly released data.

    “In their book, Saez and Zucman sketch out a modern progressive tax code. The overall tax rate on the richest 1 percent would roughly double, to about 60 percent. The tax increases would bring in about $750 billion a year, or 4 percent of G.D.P., enough to pay for universal pre-K, an infrastructure program, medical research, clean energy and more. Those are the kinds of policies that do lift economic growth.

    “One crucial part of the agenda is aminimum global corporate tax of at least 25 percent. A company would have to pay the tax on its profits in the United States even if it set up headquarters in Ireland or Bermuda. Saez and Zucman also favor a wealth tax; Elizabeth Warren’s version is based on their work. And they call for the creation of a Public Protection Bureau, to help the I.R.S. crack down on tax dodging.

    “I already know what some critics will say about these arguments — that the rich will always figure out a way to avoid taxes. That’s simply not the case. True, they will always manage to avoid some taxes. But history shows that serious attempts to collect more taxes usually succeed.”

  15. I too climbed Uluru a looong time ago. With a box brownie. Rich kids excursion. With only colonial history in my head. Zero idea of sacred site nor dreaming nor songlines. Since rectified.

    As I was young and fit the climb up was tiring yet ok.

    But the climb down! Those chains are needed for soggy knee muscles lactic acid buildup. First time I’d experienced such and it was a bit disconcerting to find my body may falter at a cruicial moment.

    I still have a lizard carving bought from aboriginals in a bush camp at a 20min stop. That was as close as we were allowed to come to orignal Australians. Since rectified.

    Red dirt and Spinifex. Amazing.

  16. KT2 says: J-D the analysis is by Clinton Fernandes himself it seems. The graph in article has a link…
    https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/x0ODc/2/
    … and at the bottom of the data wrapper link is a “get the data” link but it seems not to be formatted correctly.

    I’d also like to see ownership globally and in particular superannuation fund managers and beneficial / ownership by other proxies.

    This graphs the data.
    The “get data” link saves as a 3 column excel 672 byte file or partially prints just the company name column.

    Citation needed. Who cares about ownership IF governance appropriate AND tax paid.

    Owners dictate political donation conditions to boards. Boards are mindful of what the owners want. Receivers of political donations, approved by owners, made by by boards are aware they come with strings attached. 30% only of political donations may become public after at least a lag of one year. 70% of all Australian political donations are never made public.

    They who pay the piper call the tune.

    Clearly ownership of Australian politics is a concern.

    Clearly political governance in Australia is not appropriate!

    I’d also like to see ownership globally and in particular superannuation fund managers and beneficial / ownership by other proxiesin full, in real time!

  17. Svante. … excellent – “in full, in real time!”.

    – in full,
    – in real time,
    – 25% global rate,
    – beneficial owners known
    – laws & governance for above
    … all look to be too hard for the foreseeable future. I did like the glass half full “But history shows that serious attempts to collect more taxes usually succeed”.

    Maybe we need an ‘Taxtinction rebelion’ to highlight above points. I think Krugman? said to alter this 150+ yr trajectory we would need protest not just vote in a duopoly.

  18. So, what is it that Erdogan has on Trump? Dirt? Business deal(s)? Twice Trump has pledged to abandon the Kurds after a phone call with Erdogan – both times raising hell within the White House and Republican party, I assume such conversations are recorded/documented? Has there been any attempt to make the transcripts of such conversations public?

  19. Grape Canary..

    …”From 1354 to 1987 grapes were on average picked from 28 September on, whereby during the last 31-year-long period of rapid warming from 1988 to 2018 harvests began 13 d earlier. Early harvest dates are shown to be accompanied by high pressure over western–central Europe and atmospheric blocking over Denmark. The 33 extremely early harvests comprising the fifth percentile bracket of GHDs are unevenly distributed over time; 21 of them occurred between 1393 and 1719, while this is the case for just 5 years between 1720 and 2002. Since the hot summer of 2003, 8 out of 16 spring–summer periods were outstanding according to the statistics of the last 664 years, no less than 5 among them within the last 8 years. In the Paris temperature measurements since 1659, April-to-July temperature reached the highest value ever in 2018. In sum, the 664-year-long Beaune GHD series demonstrates that outstanding hot and dry years in the past were outliers, while they have become the norm since the transition to rapid warming in 1988.”

    The longest homogeneous series of grape harvest dates, Beaune 1354–2018, and its significance for the understanding of past and present climate

    https://www.clim-past.net/15/1485/2019/

  20. Energy Minister Angus Taylor, speaking to the AFR Energy Summit, said “If you look at the last month we have consistently been above 25 per cent intermittent renewables”[solar and wind] and this is a bad thing because intermittent energy is unreliable.

    Alas, the minister’s premise is wrong. While it is true that renewable energy over the past month was about 25%, one-third of that was hydro, which is not intermittent.

    Could it be that Angus Taylor doesn’t know what he is talking about?

  21. Owners dictate political donation conditions to boards. Boards are mindful of what the owners want.

    Citation needed.

  22. Sigh-tation… I’m just the messanger…

    Svante, asking boards if an owner has control of political donations, will imo elicit a standard response ala news corp / rupe “No infuluence”. No mention of virtue signalling / ethical alignment to get the appointment though. So other methods needed to control political donations. (I was going to post “too much dark money in almonds” as a way of showing ‘we’ spend more on almonds than we do on politics.)

    And who set the “if no *individual* owns more than 25% of the company” rule???

    “”GETTING THE UK’S HOUSE IN ORDER

    “Failure to check key information and enforce rules on the UK company register enables criminals and the corrupt to use UK companies to store cash

    “Using the open data nature of the register, Global Witness analysis found:

    – 336,224 companies simply say they have no beneficial owner*

    – 6,711 companies are controlled by a beneficial owner who themselves control over 100 companies, suggesting likely nominees

    – 487 companies are part of circular ownership structures

    – 8,872 companies name another foreign company as their ultimate owners which is unlikely to be listed on a stock exchange.

    * This is legal, if no individual owns more than 25% of the company””

    https://www.globalwitness.org/en/campaigns/corruption-and-money-laundering/anonymous-company-owners/getting-uks-house-order/

    So above around 9% of total effective UK registered companies See text & graphics for circular / fragmented / trusts. Positive note: 40 countries implementing some sort of beneficial ownership laws. Sometime.

    “At the end of June 2019, there were 4,237,994 companies on the total register and 3,964,624 on the effective register. Both the total and effective registers continue to increase in size, although the growth rate has slowed in recent years.”
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/incorporated-companies-in-the-uk-april-to-june-2019/incorporated-companies-in-the-uk-april-to-june-2019

    “More beneficial ownership loopholes to plug: circular ownership, fragmented control and companies as parties to the trust

    “Beneficial ownership regulations do usually also require the identification of the person with effective control or influence over the legal vehicle. However, this can be more difficult to do. Those checking beneficial ownership information will most likely find it easier to follow mechanical rules based on thresholds for ownership or voting rights to identify the person with effective control, regardless of whether the rules can truly suss out the person who truly has effective control over a legal vehicle.”
    https://www.taxjustice.net/2019/09/06/more-beneficial-ownership-loopholes-to-plug-circular-ownership-control-with-little-ownership-and-companies-as-parties-to-the-trust/

  23. Some people might say that company directors are supposed to put the interests of shareholders ahead of their own, but I don’t know of anybody who would suggest that people always do what they’re supposed to do. In the great days of leveraged buyouts by management, company directors were not notable for putting the interests of shareholders ahead of their own.

  24. By being simply a majority these foreign majority imperial agent shareholders now own those Australian boards. The boards of course know what is good for their own interests, so they see to the interests of those foreign shareholders. Big multinational direct investors and activist institutional funds managers don’t just sit idly by – even the somewhat passives replace board members now and then with their choice of people who will do what they’re supposed to do, ie., what is wanted. Call it a capital concentration camp. First the capitol then the country. It sucks.

  25. “Australian citizens arrested for protesting that we are not acting appropriately with respect to Anthropogenic Global Warming, especially seeing that it is their future that goes up in smoke.”

    We aren’t warming. But the fires are to do with extra-CO2. Because that leads to greater plant growth and therefore more fuel buildup. Are we really saying we don’t want the extra plant growth? No of course not. This is a public administration problem. It requires us to get goats, pigs, mobile electric fences, and loose wood scavengers, to reduce the fuel. No use pointing at the sky and pretending you see a lot of black stuff when there is serious work that needs to be done.

  26. The boards of course know what is good for their own interests, so they see to the interests of those foreign shareholders.

    You don’t make it true just by asserting it.

    Of course it’s true sometimes that the interests of shareholders and the interests of directors coincide, but when they don’t coincide, why would you expect the directors to put the interests of the shareholders ahead of their own?

  27. “The boards of course know what is good for their own interests, so they see to the interests of those foreign shareholders.”

    The modern giant corporation goes after the interest rate subsidy of the very largest of banks. They are only interested in their creditors. They steal from their shareholders with new share issues and outrageous share dilution salary packages. So they only care about the people who control the banking system. Thats why we have such a thing as “woke capital.”

  28. “why would you expect the directors to put the interests of the shareholders ahead of their own?”

    Why would you expect directors to go against the lawful interests of such majority shareholders? How can they, how long would they last, when they’re only allowed a seat on the board at the pleasure of such shareholders?

  29. ““why would you expect the directors to put the interests of the shareholders ahead of their own?”

    Which shareholders can and would kick them off the board? The profitability of these firms relies on getting cheap bargain basement credit from giant banks. The big shareholders themselves are not individuals, and if they are they are likely to be finance oligarchs anyway. So the big shareholders are mega-big firms themselves, reliant on getting huge amounts of credit subsidy from the self-same money-creation network. So it all links back to the same oligarchs. There would be no such thing as a new share issue if it were the shareholders calling the shots. There would be no stock options as part of anyones salaries. No share dilution. New share issues are proof that shareholder sovereignty isn’t around any more.

  30. Native “shareholder sovereignty” isn’t around much any more on the main asx board, which relates back to the original points that sovereignty of the people has gone with the increase of dark money political donations from native but foreign (US) owned boards.

  31. GB. Sigh-tation please.

    ” We aren’t warming. But the fires are to do with extra-CO2. Because that leads to greater plant growth and therefore more fuel buildup.”

  32. Here is the fix “without major social or political upheaval.”, something Australia seems to be moving away from.

    “Talk to each other

    “We found that active dialogue with communities is key. In North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, policy is jointly formulated by employees and employers, giving workers a voice which is largely equal to that of industrialists. The proportion of employees on supervisory boards is determined by the number of employees, which means there is one-third employee representation if there are more than 500 employees and parity on the supervisory board if there are more than 2,000 employees. This has meant coal mining has been gradually reduced and now nearly eliminated without major social or political upheaval.

    “In contrast, Hazelwood coal power station and adjoining mine in Victoria, Australia were closed with minimal consultation with unions or government, and after just five months notice.”

    https://theconversation.com/coal-mines-can-be-closed-without-destroying-livelihoods-heres-how-124336

    Chance if this happening in australia…
    5yrs -1% – Labor too ‘vibbly vobbly”
    10yrs – 5% – gerrymander fixed -greens w 10+ seats
    20yrs – 50% – ala science advances one death at a time, new cohort of voters dominant

    JQ, Svante, J-D, what timeframe would you say to having “policy is jointly formulated by employees and employers” in Australia?

  33. Why would you expect directors to go against the lawful interests of such majority shareholders? How can they, how long would they last, when they’re only allowed a seat on the board at the pleasure of such shareholders?

    It turns out in practice that it’s extremely difficult for shareholders to remove directors. It can happen, sometimes, but it’s exceedingly rare. A typical board of directors has a nominations committee, and typically the approval by shareholders of candidates suggested by the nominations committee and endorsed by the board is a mere formality.

  34. Reform political donations, political party and independent financial resourcing, and taxpayer funding of politics appropriately, and anything the polity, the democratic majority actually wants is possible shortly after. it wouldn’t stop with reform of private sector corporate governance structure. All government structures would benefit after such transparent levelling where “one person one vote” actually meant something.

  35. “is a mere formality.”

    Of course it is. You’re conflating the mum and dad shareholder options with those available to the (foreign) majority shareholder. If the fix is in by the powerful players, it is in, and of course it is.

  36. The greater the ponzi money presence the further and further we move away from shareholder sovereignty. So if we were to look into how the situation was circa 1960 we may find a substantial level of shareholder influence. But now its presence must be pretty rare, even just on a theoretical level prior to too much knowledge on the ground.

    My biggest problem with recent neoclassical types, who I assumed that I was one of, is that while they are happy about leaving anyone poor out in the harsh winds of alleged free enterprise, they are even happier about gargantuan welfarism for the financial sector. Thats most of the worm in the apple here. Although corporate law needs a rewrite tip to stern. Ahead of that future rewrite the best things we can pursue are monetary reform, and a rebalancing between the sole trader and the artificial persons. No taxes on retained earnings for the sole trader.

    Back under Bretton Woods we were socialists in theory but in practice we had a great deal of economy in government. That was a pretty sweet and high-performance combination. You come out of that situation you can easily become a right winger. But the basis for being that way is severely degraded. The big end of town were really doing good things for your average bloke back then. Now they strike me as completely useless, outrageously greedy, and not even very bright.

  37. You’re conflating the mum and dad shareholder options with those available to the (foreign) majority shareholder.

    How many publicly traded companies have a majority shareholder? Some, obviously, but what percentage?

  38. Not necessarily just the one shareholder. Not one economic hitman. Think of common origin, common perspective, common beneficiary interest, common alliance controlled groupings. The Clinton Fernandes article reveals the huge extent of US foreign ownership super-majority dominance over blue-chip Australian listed companies and, due to the size and business activities of those, by implication most other listed and probably most unlisted companies of any size. Think banana republic target Australia. Jackie Cogan summed it up – “America’s not a country. It’s just a business.” – and Australia is now just another US Inc mark.

  39. “Think of common origin, common perspective, common beneficiary interest, common alliance controlled groupings. ”

    But in doing so lets no diminish flat out conspiracy. Its a mental handicap and a logical fallacy to be biased against conspiracy. Its about as stupid as a man can get to be averse to that possibility.

    Generally speaking its artificial entities owning artificial entities. Because an individual sterilises his income from taxation that way. If you take Apple Computer, I heard a rumour that the second biggest shareholder at one stage, after Steve Jobs, was David Rockefeller. But how would you confirm such a thing behind a maize of trusts? You could confirm it but it would take a lot of work.

    Since the oligarchy gets a chunk of the benefit from new money creation, the international drug trade, arms dealing and other happy undertakings of the subhuman type, ultimately they’ll end up own almost everything, which I suggest they do already. And most of the rest of us will be serfs, which I suggest 90% of us are already.

    So you can fall in love with the Misean/Rothbard/Reisman economic models. And it would be a beautiful world if they worked as advertised. But there needs to be radical change before they even come close to doing so. And it means for hundreds of years having a taxation regime that is easy on most of us but completely decapitates dynastic wealth. Not by way of inheritance tax, or income tax. These are ridiculously crude measure. But by undermining lazy wealth and artificial persons on a daily basis.

  40. Not necessarily just the one shareholder. Not one economic hitman. Think of common origin, common perspective, common beneficiary interest, common alliance controlled groupings.

    Again it should be obvious (it certainly is to me) that there are publicly traded companies with no one majority shareholder which are nevertheless controlled by a group of allied shareholders who hold a majority between them and can therefore direct the company’s affairs (and its board, although in such case the chances are they’ll be on the board). One routine scenario would be where a family controlled the business before it went public and family members still hold a majority of the shares. (Of course family members don’t always remain allied, but often they do.)

    The question is, again, what percentage of publicly traded companies follow this pattern?

  41. See if you can find one example of a really big company so constructed? There will be a few medium sized companies as you describe. Yet when I was trading shares for a couple of years, maybe about ten years ago, I was only buying the small guys. And they were constantly dudding the minority shareholders with share dilutions. So I would say in 2019 at least that shareholders as owners amounts to a fantasy. Our wishes are not taken into account, as no minority shareholder would ever want these bludgers showing up to three or four meetings and getting a years pay out of it. Nor would we choose the sort of people who get seats on these boards.

  42. In what circumstances do you think the parties involved would make their arrangements public? It’s been a notably quiet takeover. Even the comprehensive extent of the takeover available from public share registers hasn’t been reported until now, nor the consequent huge foreign interest controlled dark political funding opportunities.

  43. In what circumstances do you think …

    I’m going to explain what I do think, and then I’m going to explain why I think that.

    What I think is that in the typical publicly traded company, the chief executive officer has far more influence over the way the company is run than anybody else, the members of the board have some influence but not much, and the shareholders have next to none.

    I conclude that the CEO has far more influence than the board partly on the basis of the obvious observation that the CEO works full-time at running the company whereas the directors are part-time, partly on the basis of what I’ve read about the operations of corporations, and partly on the basis of my own direct observations of board and committee meetings (not in publicly traded companies, but in other organisations with volunteer boards/committees but full-time executives).

    I conclude that shareholders have next to no influence partly on the basis of what I’ve read about the operations of corporations; partly on the basis of the reasoning that if there were a group of people who had access to enough funds to buy up a majority shareholding in a publicly listed corporation and who also had a shared concept of how they wanted a business to be run, it would be easier and simpler for them to put the funds into setting up their own business and avoid having to deal with legacy issues; and partly on the basis of the reasoning that shares are and always have been primarily a form of investment, which means a way of making money, so that shareholders are primarily interested in making money and that therefore if they are satisfied with their financial return they are unlikely to be interested in intervening in how the company is run, while if they are dissatisfied with their financial return their likeliest remedy is to sell their shares and invest elsewhere.

    I mentioned before that I acknowledge that in some cases a majority of shares in a publicly listed company will be held by a small group of connected and allied people, who are then likely to appoint a majority of board members from among themselves or those very close to them and so control the direction of the company. However, I also reason that over time it is likely that people will be motivated to sell out either because they need the money for immediate purposes or because they perceive preferable investment opportunities elsewhere, and further that over time the members of such a small group are likely either to fall out or (given time) to die and be succeeded by heirs who don’t share the same connections and alliances: therefore, over time, companies which started out controlled by a small group of allied shareholders will cease to be so. The conclusion of this reasoning is further supported by the observation that there are many publicly listed companies which started out as family-controlled businesses but which are no longer controlled by the founding families.

    I don’t know what percentage of publicly listed companies are controlled by small group of allied shareholders, and I don’t know of any way of finding out. On the basis of the reasoning outlined above, I suspect the percentage is small. I would be prepared to change my mind about that on the basis of evidence that the percentage is high. You seem to be telling me that there’s no way of getting hold of such evidence. If you can’t produce evidence for your conclusion, there’s no reason for anybody else to accept it.

  44. “…partly on the basis of my own direct observations of board and committee meetings (not in publicly traded companies, but in other organisations with volunteer boards/committees but full-time executives).”

    ‘Nuff said.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s