Some notes on David Cameron’s visit to India and the Anglo-Indian bilateral relationship in the Huffington Post.
Last week the UK prime minister, David Cameron, was in India making a strong pitch for bilateral trade, talking of the potential for a “great relationship” to be formed between the two countries. On the surface, Britain and India have much in common, including a language, a legal system, and cultural links. However, all this potential is yet to be translated into the unique relationship that Britain says it desires. Mr Cameron’s visit is unlikely to swing the balance.
2013 promises to be a year of big transitions in Pakistan, including a historic change of guard in the civilian government, and the retirements of General Kayani and the CJ, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. The World Tonight on Radio 4 aired a special on Wednesday that highlighted some interesting differences of opinion on whither Pakistan. Although most of the panellists repeatedly said that Pakistan’s salvation lies solely within the framework of democracy, there were some who voiced the opinion that the country had done better under a military dictatorship.
Gallup recently released an opinion survey that backed this up. Fully 88% of those surveyed supported the military, while the civilian government’s approval rating fell to 23%.
A small segment by yours truly on the economic prospects (TL;DR: Grim) features from around 15 minutes in.
A business corporation is organized and carried on primarily for the profit of the stockholders. The powers of the directors are to be employed for that end.
- Dodge v. Ford Motor Company (Mich. 1919)
The principle that a company is run for the benefit of its shareholders is one that has been enshrined in legal doctrine since 1919, when the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the Ford Motor Company was not permitted to retain its considerable earnings to reinvest internally, at the expense of dividends owed to its shareholders. In recent years, this formulation has come under attack as researchers blame the goal of ‘shareholder value maximisation’ for a host of ills ranging from the lack of focus on R&D to unemployment. It has been proposed that managers should cease to focus solely on maximising value for shareholders and focus instead on maximising value for all ‘stakeholders’.
Several companies (such as Ben and Jerry’s) have embraced the idea, focusing on the ‘triple bottom line’ : people, profits and the planet. But, how does one define who a stakeholder is, and how does an investor measure how ‘green’ a company actually is? Everything from the latest LCD television to eggs in the supermarket are labelled ‘organic’, ‘sustainable’, ‘green’, ‘environmentally friendly’, and unless one is disposed to spend a few hours investigating the small print, neither investors nor consumers can differentiate between a myriad of available options.
The benefit corporation (B-Corp) certification introduced in 2006 attempts to enumerate stakeholders, clarify best practices in how they are treated, and rates company performance on a series of indicators including treatment of employees, environmental-friendliness and community-friendliness.