“Rebel economist breaks through to Washington on how shareholder value theory rewards the undeserving

By Yves Smith

By Lynn Parramore, Senior Research Analyst at the Institute for New Economic Thinking. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website

Ever heard that a corporation’s sole duty is to maximize value for shareholders? In the go-go ‘80s, business schools, government organizations, and most public companies took up this mantra. It stuck around.

William Lazonick, emeritus professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, has long held that idea to be not only wrong, but disastrous to society — a cause of ills ranging from a vanishing middle class to stymied innovation. “…

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