Saturday, March 28, 2009

The "Collapse of Capitalism"?

Not according to Phillip Greenspun who makes the argument that our systems of governance and regulations encouraged excess risk at the expense of shareholders:

Given our country’s rules regarding public company governance and the fact that Wall Street is dominated by public companies, is there a realistic hope for stability? What would any of us do if we had the chance to make $100 million per year by taking a 10 percent risk that our employer and its shareholders would be wiped out?

A free market in which participants risked their own money might work quite well, but that’s not what we tried. We had a market in which participants risked other peoples’ money and pocketed much of the upside but suffered no downside risk, all made possible by the government’s regulating away public company shareholder power.

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