UK dividends hit new record in Q3 2012: "Dividend payments in the UK hit highest quarterly total of £23.2bn, up 10.4 per cent in the third quarter compared with last year, according to Capita Registrars." [more inside]
“On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world” — Jack Welch, 2009. As GE’s CEO in the 80s, however, Welch championed corporate focus on shareholder returns. “Converts to the creed”, the Economist summarizes, “had little time for other ‘stakeholders’: customers, employees, suppliers, society at large and so forth.” What went wrong? Steve Denning describes how such a stance is counterproductive, creates turmoil in capitalism and fosters an environment in which “CEOs and their top managers have massive incentives to focus most of their attentions on the expectations market, rather than the real job of running the company producing real products and services.”
The myth of shareholder capitalism. It's commonly believed that a company's primary duty is to maximize shareholder value. Anything that might reduce the returns to shareholders is questionable, including giving employees good wages and benefits. According to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, this is a misconception, and corporate management is being taught the wrong lessons based on obsolete case law. [more inside]
Forum: The Pros and Cons of Director Liability. [more inside]
Warren Buffett's annual letter to his shareholders is worth a read.