There are many myths propagated by the populist debate over the purpose of the corporation in general, and the role of its shareholders in particular.
In August, the Business Roundtable, led by JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, issued a well-meaning but ultimately confusing statement about the group’s view on the purpose of a corporation. It proclaimed that the goal of corporations should not only be to create long-term value for shareholders but also to serve the interests of all other corporate stakeholders— employees, customers, suppliers, and the community. It is often thought that these goals are contradictory, but that’s not the case.
The statement, and the big splash it has created, are symptomatic of the many myths propagated by the populist debate over the purpose of the co
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