The US Supreme Court’s wrongheaded decision on corporate campaign contributions raises the specter of billions of corporate dollars flooding the electoral process. But the core issue goes beyond campaign financing. It’s time to restore corporate sanity, as I wrote in The Guardian. From spending millions on lobbyists to paying eight-figure bonuses to self-proclaimed masters of the financial universe that collapsed the global economy, corporations have gone crazy. The problem is simple – shareholders that own companies have lost their rightful power to supervise the executives who manage them, so can’t prevent them from acting recklessly and spending investors’ money foolishly; the inmates are running the asylum. The solution is also simple – fair corporate elections that give investors a legitimate chance to elect boards of directors that will, as the law requires, protect shareholders’ investments. Until corporations fix their own elections, they shouldn’t meddle in others.
Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, financial crisis, and cheap lingerie.
Tags: 2008 financial crisis, corporate campaign contributions, corporate elections, corporate governance, Hong Kong, Hong Kong On Air, investor rights, proxy voting, shareholder rights, The Guardian, US campaign finance, US Supreme Court, US Supreme Court decisions