October 1, 2007
I am really concerned about the importance of shareholders, including small
shareholders, being able to sponsor precatory resolutions. I hope that you
will not make any regulatory changes which would have a chilling effect on such resolutions. It seems to me that involvement of shareholders with the responsible advising and oversight of the companies they partly own is a good thing to be promoted and is not an external irrelevancy to be restricted for efficiency’s sake. If a proposal is unwise it need not be voted for or implemented, but I think you would agree that it shouldn’t just be muffled because the shareholder wasn’t big and important enough.
I am really hoping that the SEC will maintain the current threshold to sponsor a shareholder resolution (i.e., $2000 and one year), and that the ability to bring forward resolutions at general meetings will not be replaced with an electronic forum. The idea of an electronic forum seems interesting but perilous to me because there is so much uncertainty about what form it would actually take. I hope that it could be guaranteed that it would actually be a meaningful, secure, and respected venue, and not eventually degenerate into basically a chat room where shareholders can pretend to dialogue with someone in public relations who pretends to care. I agree that it is very important to respect the role of state governments, but I do not think that individual states have the resources to fully protect shareholder rights, since many corporations are not only interstate but international. Only the SEC has the credibility and leverage to make sure that managers are responsible to their shareholders. I urge you to keep regulations as they are now concerning shareholder precatory resolutions.
Thank you so much for your consideration and for allowing the public to express our views on this important question. Sincerely,