For Immediate Release
David Segal, firstname.lastname@example.org
Demand Progress Education Fund: Business Roundtable’s Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds
As group of CEOs is praised for hollow statements about corporate responsibility, they push to undermine processes to hold corporations accountable to higher values.
WASHINGTON - Even as the Business Roundtable is being valorized for asserting that companies have obligations to more than just their shareholders, the Roundtable is a leading advocate for measures currently being considered by the Securities and Exchange Commission that would undermine efforts to hold companies to higher values.
The SEC is currently considering making it harder for shareholders to hold corporations accountable — for instance by vastly increasing the ownership threshold for filing a petition and by undermining the role of proxy advisors in corporate governance processes.
In direct contradiction to this week’s letter, the Roundtable’s engagement in this proceeding has consistently been predicated on the notion that advocacy for social aims must be constrained because it distracts from shareholder value and financial impact on corporations.
For instance, this is a direct quote from a June 3, 2019, filing with the SEC:
The low proposal submission threshold permits shareholders to make a nominal investment in a company to present proposals as a form of social commentary or to advocate for a social aim, regardless of the proposal’s financial impact on the company, its relevance to long-term shareholder value or the cost to other shareholders.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Never Miss a Beat.
Get our best delivered to your inbox.
According to David Segal, Executive Director of the Demand Progress Education Fund:
"The Roundtable letter smacks of thin rhetorical cover for continued predation by the world’s biggest corporations. If the Roundtable wants us to believe that it and its members are anything better than brazen hypocrites, the Roundtable will immediately reverse its encouragement of SEC efforts to undermine shareholder petitioning and proxy voting.
"Rather, the Roundtable will urge the SEC to ensure that investors are allowed to continue to hold corporations accountable — to good internal governance and to what is best for their workers, consumers, and the communities and broader world in which they operate."
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.
Please select a donation method:
Demand Progress works to win progressive policy changes for ordinary people through organizing, lobbying, and elections in the United States.