Short-termism and shareholder payouts: Getting corporate capital flows right

By Jesse Fried and Charles C. Y. Wang

A fierce debate has been raging over whether shareholder-driven “short-termism” (or “quarterly capitalism”) is a critical problem for U.S. public firms, their investors, and the nation’s economy. Certain academics (Bratton and Wachter, 2010; Coffee and Palia, 2015), corporate lawyers (Lipton, 2015), Delaware judges (Strine, 2010), and think tanks (Aspen Institute, 2009) contend that quarterly capitalism, exacerbated by the growing power of hedge funds, is substantially impairing firms’ ability to invest and innovate for the long term.”…

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