An interesting debate is brewing in the corporate blogosphere as academics line up on opposite sides in the debate about increasing the shareholder franchise. Competing SEC proposals on so-called “shareholder access” form the backdrop for the debate.
On one hand are opponents of expanding shareholder voting rights, notably Stephen Bainbridge, Jonathan Macey and Lynn Stout. On the other hand are advocates for increasing shareholder power led most fervently by Lucian Bebchuk. The recent Virginia Law Review colloquy on the question was discussed earlier on this blog.
The current round of volleys seems to have started with Lynn Stout’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Corporations Should Not Be Democracies” and her blog posting on Harvard’s Corporate Governance Blog. The Harvard blog posted responses to Stout from Jay Brown of Race to the Bottom and Jay Verret, who recently published a Business Lawyer article on the topic.
Verret’s comments then prompted a response from Professor Bainbridge who took exception to Verret’s characterizations of his views. To keep the conversation going, I invited Jay Verret to respond to Professor Bainbridge. His response follows in a separate post.