Managerial vs. shareholder capitalism

Heard something on Marketplace this morning and had to check the transcript to confirm that I heard correctly. Apparently the management of Home Depot is in hot water with some shareholders for the company’s political donations. What makes it bizarre is their claim that they are not beholden to shareholders in deciding those donations, even though they are really using shareholder money:

Bob Moon: In Atlanta today, Home Depot shareholders are voting on political spending. This grows out of a landmark Supreme Court ruling last year, that the government can’t stop companies from supporting political causes. But shareholders are a different story.

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Home Depot says choosing how to make political contributions is the role of executives, not shareholders. But the Securities and Exchange Commission disagreed, saying shareholders do have that right — thus today’s vote. Home Depot is the first of what will likely be a long string of such votes.

Apparently owning shares no longer confers ownership rights. Good to know.

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