Is there too much or too little shareholder activism and democracy? The Securities and Exchange Commission, in recent roundtable discussions, called for reexamination of the rights of shareholders to place shareholder resolutions on the corporate ballot. Attorney Sanford Lewis and Journalist Bill Baue, Corporate Watchdog Radio cohosts, discuss the array of ideas and pressures at work on the SEC. We hear excerpts of comments from David Hirschmann of the US Chamber of Commerce, Damon Silvers of the AFL-CIO, Bill Mostyn, Bank of America, and Delaware Judge Leo Strine. The future of shareholder democracy may hang in the balance.
Article by cohost Bill Baue on the SEC Roundtables
Bottled drinking water is an $11 Billion per year US industry, and the withdrawal of water has been referred to as a “Blue gold rush.” With impacts to local water supplies and quality of life looming, citizens groups are challenging the right of corporate water companies such as Nestle to withdraw drinking water from local supplies. In March 2006, Barnstead, New Hampshire, (population 4,800) passed a law banning corporations from mining and selling town water. The law also purports to strip corporations of their constitutional power and authority.
Corporate Watchdog Radio cohost Sanford Lewis interviews Ruth Caplan, chair of Sierra Club’s project on water privatization.
In the current corporate annual meeting season, shareowners have stepped up demands on companies to seek alternatives to toxic materials in their products. A shareholder resolution at Apple calls on the company to set an accelerated timetable for ending the use of certain toxic materials. But why has the Board of Directors, which includes Al Gore, unanimously recommended against the resolution? At DuPont shareholders are continuing their quest for the company to end the use of the so-called Teflon Chemical. Corporate Watchdog Radio cohost Sanford Lewis, who is counsel to the Investor Environmental Health Network, discusses these and other fights with Richard Liroff, Director of the Network. Other companies discussed include Chemlawn, Bed, Bath & Beyond, SC Johnson, CVS, Dow Chemical, Wal-Mart, Mohawk Carpet and others.
Corporate Watchdog Radio presents a special video presentation on the phone companies, the National Security Agency and our civil liberties. Ransacking Liberty is a 11.5 minute video that discusses how phone company spying may jeopardize the rights of reporters, whistle blowers and protesters.