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Is shareholder capitalism passe?

The emerging backlash against CSR and the resultant endorsement of shareholder capitalism make sense

Deepak Lal

The Anglo-American free enterprise system has been based on the classical liberal principles of shareholder capitalism epitomised by the modern corporation. Its sole social responsibility — as Milton Friedman stated in his 1962 classical liberal text Capitalism and Freedom — is “to make as much money for their stockholders as possible”. However, every time there is a financial crisis, there are dirigiste voices demanding that corporations have a “social responsibility” that goes beyond the interest of their stockholders. The dot-com speculative boom and ...