Acting in the interests of shareholders matters

Today in The Australian
The Committee for the Economic Development of Australia last week released the results of a survey of the attitudes the general public and corporate leaders have to business.

Launched to great media fanfare, Company Pulse 2019 contributed to a torrent of commentary about the need for companies to act more ethically.

About Henry Ergas

Henry Ergas AO is a columnist for The Australian. From 2009 to 2015 he was Senior Economic Adviser to Deloitte Australia and from 2009 to 2017 was Professor of Infrastructure Economics at the University of Wollongong’s SMART Infrastructure Facility. He joined SMART and Deloitte after working as a consultant economist at NECG, CRA International and Concept Economics. Prior to that, he was an economist at the OECD in Paris from the late 1970s until the early 1990s. At the OECD, he headed the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Structural Adjustment (1984-1987), which concentrated on improving the efficiency of government policies in a wide range of areas, and was subsequently Counsellor for Structural Policy in the Economics Department. He has taught at a range of universities, undertaken a number of government inquiries and served as a Lay Member of the New Zealand High Court. In 2016, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia.
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4 Responses to Acting in the interests of shareholders matters

  1. Leo G

    … a torrent of commentary about the need for companies to act more ethically.

    That would be the branch of ethics which concerns the relative goodness of the virtue signal without regard for the consequence.

  2. Bruce of Newcastle

    The problem with that idea is the general insanity afflicting society is extending to the shareholders too. Especially ‘industry funds’ controlled by the union movement.

    So we have this in the same issue of the Oz today:

    AGL opts to hold on to coal

    AGL Energy has rejected a sizeable shareholder vote calling for it to bring forward the planned closure of its coal power plants.

    When it says ‘hold on to coal’ it means not closing Liddell until the very distant future of 2023, thereby sparing us from widespread blackouts for an extra year or two from what the minority shareholders seem to want.

    Well those AGL voters will get what they voted for good and hard eventually, one way or another.

  3. Bazinga

    There’s consequences already; act ethically or be prosecuted and/or lose customers. Further additions/legislations etc. are waste of taxpayer monies.

  4. John Constantine

    Controlling the means of production. Through direct threats to management. Without direct ownership.

    Tyranny has never worked before, but maybe Australia will be able to properly purge dissent this time.

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