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  #51  
Old 05-09-2019, 08:13 AM
Isamu is offline
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Originally Posted by clairobscur View Post
Until relatively recently (15 years, maybe?), the British Lloyd's still had its associates personally liable. It ended when some disaster at sea or another ended up bankrupting a number of them (who didn't expect that to actually happen).


Even though it's probably useful for the economy, stock holders still benefit from what is essentially a gigantic privilege : not being liable for an activity you engage in. If I accidentally drop a flower pot on someone's toe, I'm liable. But if I own, say, 35% of a chemical corporation and dictate policies that result in a 5 000 deaths when a very toxic chemical leaks (assuming not illegal actions), I'm not.

I sometimes amused myself by mentioning to Libertarian types that in Libertaria, stock-holders should be personally liable and so that they should agitate for policies abolishing this privilege.
To some extent that is true but stock holders have so little influence over company policies and they are pretty removed from the decision-making process. The only things they usually have a say in is whether to keep the current leadership.
  #52  
Old 05-09-2019, 08:29 AM
Isamu is offline
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
I'm aware of why corporations were formed. And I can see a good argument for how it benefits the overall economy to allow people to place limits on the financial liability they acquire from making investments.

I can't see any argument, economic or otherwise, where it benefits society to allow corporations to be used to shield people who are breaking the law.
Yeah, I agree with you. But Enron CEOs went to jail or killed themselves or (got off scott free like Lou Pai the luckiest MF ever born) once they were shown to be dishonest. Enron were cowboys though so relatively easily caught. Today's fraudster in a suit is usually harder to catch but I can't say it's the nature of corporations that allows them to evade the law. I think it's more that the types of malfeasance so common today are really hard to prove in a court of law.

What specific corporate shield did you have in mind to discuss?
  #53  
Old 05-09-2019, 08:33 AM
Isamu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clairobscur View Post
Until relatively recently (15 years, maybe?), the British Lloyd's still had its associates personally liable. It ended when some disaster at sea or another ended up bankrupting a number of them (who didn't expect that to actually happen).


Even though it's probably useful for the economy, stock holders still benefit from what is essentially a gigantic privilege : not being liable for an activity you engage in. If I accidentally drop a flower pot on someone's toe, I'm liable. But if I own, say, 35% of a chemical corporation and dictate policies that result in a 5 000 deaths when a very toxic chemical leaks (assuming not illegal actions), I'm not.

I sometimes amused myself by mentioning to Libertarian types that in Libertaria, stock-holders should be personally liable and so that they should agitate for policies abolishing this privilege.
Oh I see, you were talking about controlling shareholders. Yes, I agree.
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