Is “Quartertly Capitalism” a Problem?

business_ethics_highlights_2Yesterday we posted a piece about how corporate managers should focus on “stakeholders, not just shareholders“. The piece we were linking to was in large part a critique of “quarterly capitalism,” i.e., the form of capitalism that focuses on short-term (e.g., quarterly) returns to shareholders. The brief blog entry linked below (by a leading economist) casts doubt on the idea that “quarterly capitalism” is a bad thing, citing (and quoting) some scholarly work on the topic. >>>

LINK: How bad a problem is “quarterly capitalism”? (by Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution)

There is more evidence to consider, but I will start by introducing the idea that the standard anti-publicly traded company tropes are not self-evidently true, or at the very least we do not know them to be true….

What do you think?


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2 comments

  1. Renee Payne

    I am now convinced that the critical defect in existing capitalism is the long termism reflected in quarterly reports. We should strive to enhance the flexibility of all inputs and develop a second by second reporting system. . Labor should be treated as a continuous variable. Fractions of employees should freely accept their modified schedules since it is far too much rigidity in labor markets to expect employment of a whole employee.

  2. Francis Bellamy

    The Aspen Institute Business and Society Program (supported by the Ford and Hitachi Foundations, I think) produced this statement in 2009:

    http://www.aspeninstitute.org/sites/default/files/content/docs/pubs/overcome_short_state0909_0.pdf

    They claim to have influenced Clinton’s argument on ” short term ism.”

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