From: Steven White
Chairman Christopher Cox Securities and Exchange Commission 100 F Street, NE Washington, DC 20549-1090v
Dear Chairman Cox:
I'm writing to state that I strongly oppose any initiative that would curtail the rights of investors to file shareholder resolutions. I feel these way because for pragmatic reasons--it is in the common interest to keep the current system. But a rights based approach would come to the same conclusion.vThe argument is rather simple: if we believe in private property, then shareholders should have the right to control their property without government intervention, except in extreme cases where it is needed to protect the common good.
From a practical point of view, no good will come from loosening corporate accountability. Shareholders have been harmed in numerous scandles over the past few years, and in general an unaccountable system feeds inequality and slows economic growth. In the long run everyone will be harmed, albeit in the short run board members may benefit. I'm an economics student at MIT and can easily see it makes economic sense to oppose changes, but in the short run (because of hyperbolic discounting) it makes sense for a certain group of monied interests who stand to benefit to promote these changes, namely corporate executives. Presumably these people are the origin of the proposals.
Be honest about the proposed changes. They are a bad idea, everyone can see that. The short-term financial interest of political allies is not good enough reason to defile our system of law. More importantly, these changes stand to protect violators of human rights in the long run.