December 25, 2018

Let us issue shares fed with some results of our economy to all of us, and then worship these.

Sir, Rana Foroohar asking “At what point does bad corporate behavior become willful malfeasance?” writes, “Facebook is the natural culmination of 40 years of business worshipping at the altar of shareholder value.” “Facebook puts growth over governance” December 25.

Really? If all the incredible developments around Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft and similar, results from “worshipping at the altar of shareholder value” then perhaps we should issue a share to each citizens that feeds on a substantial part of profits, like those of Facebook, or taxes, like carbon taxes, and have us all worshipping these shares, instead of trusting the acts of genius politicians or bureaucrats with agendas of their own. 

Those shares, which would pay out an equal unconditional societal dividend to all of us, is by the way what a Universal Basic Income is all about. 

Of course, as usually comes with new developments, there are new and serious problems, and data privacy is one of them. Foroohar asks “ Have we reached one of those watersheds when US and European authorities are going to step up and do something about it? Let us beware, there’s no guarantee that would not be even worse. 

Foroohar says she is reminded of “bank executives who had no understanding of the risks built into their balance sheets until markets started to blow up during the 2008 financial crisis” 

I am though more reminded of regulators who allowed banks to leverage over 60 times their equity with what rated as AAA could be very dangerous to our bank system, and less that 8.3 times with what rated below BB- bankers do not like to touch with a ten feet pole. I am reminded of regulators who assigned a risk weight of 0% to the sovereign of Greece, and thereby doomed that nation to its tragedy.