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The Modern Corporation and Private Property Paperback – January 30, 1991
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About the Author
Murray Weidenbaum is Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor of Economics at Washington University in St. Louis and honorary chairman of the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government and Public Policy. He was the first chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to Ronald Reagan and also served as a member of Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board. He is the author of numerous books, including Business and Government in the Global Marketplace, One-Armed Economist, and The Bamboo Network.
- Item Weight : 1.31 pounds
- Paperback : 434 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0887388876
- ISBN-13 : 978-0887388873
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.98 x 9 inches
- Publisher : Routledge; 2nd edition (January 30, 1991)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,281,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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I appreciate the speed with which the product came to me, and the quality of the protective housing of the book.
After all, is an excellent book of business law. Perhaps one of the greatest.
Berle and Means dissect what this change means in terms of Adam Smith's theories and more modern legal theories. What does it mean when one owns property that is controlled by others. What checks are there on the authority of corporate officers in their fiduciary roles? Who is the beneficiary of their trust? These questions are as relevant today as they were when this book was published.
The world of the unbridled modern corporation has its defenders, most of the sort that George Orwell called bully worshipers, that is, those who worship power, the more, the better. Unfortunately, as we seem to discover every generation or two, these structures have serious shortcomings when it comes to providing the goods and services that we expect. Today, as when the book was published, we are in a period of reassessment. The private sector has failed horribly, showing itself unable to manage the nation's finances, produce automobiles or deliver health care.
When times are good, people forget that corporations are just government chartered collectives, and what the government creates, it can monitor, modify and control. Berle and Means point this out clearly as they outline the rise of modern corporate structure. It was not created in one step, nor did it evolve naturally. Berle and Means then turn to the remedies that might restore the nation's faith in its private sector. In fact, one section of the book underlies much of modern security law, including such innovations as bans on insider trading, the creation of the SEC, reporting requirements, and restraints on the assignment of earnings and on issuing shares.
Berle and Means, and those who followed their advice in the New Deal did their job well. For decades, the markets ran smoothly, and when things are running smoothly, people forget the lessons learned. The engine of our economy needs a tune up, perhaps even a rebuild. This makes it a good time to learn something about how the engine works, and how it came to work that way.