I can’t think of a better way to end the year’s videos than watching Robert Monks rehearse his opening speech for GMI’s Public Funds Forum 2011 and the great cartoon from MoxyVote.com. Bob always knows how to uncover the camouflage and lay out the misdeeds of the Business Roundtable and Chamber of Commerce, as well as how to push institutional investors. Read the speech.
They prefer the present ownerless situation where corporate executive power is accountable to government which it easily dominates… Ultimately, only the owners have power symmetrical with that of management and, therefore, capable of monitoring corporate impact on society… Institutions must take the lead.
While Bob may be right, I’m afraid institutions may not take their responsibilities seriously until investors and plan beneficiaries demand it. That already happens at many public and SRI funds but many funds are passive, especially mainstream funds and foundations who tend to be responsible only to captured boards. After all, even though they may have fiduciary duties, how much do institutional investors worry about “other people’s money?” That’s why its important that retail investors understand get motivated themselves, vote in corporate elections and start pestering their institutions to do the same. Change might just happen from the ground up.