Uma perspectiva muito interessante (e da qual tivemos recentemente um “caso da vida real” em Portugal), sobre a condição dos accionistas das sociedades cotadas, que me foi enviada pelo Filipe Morais:
“Directors of a company can sell the assets held by the company, but shareholders do not have rights to receive the proceeds. Shareholders do have a residual interest in the event of bankruptcy, assuming that the assets have been sold to satisfy the prior claims of secured and unsecured creditors. However, they might still not suffer the ultimate loss of their investment as the state has bailed-out banks and other corporations.
Companies engage in harmful practices, from cartels, tax avoidance, bribery and corruption to adulterated food, and company boardrooms manufacture diseases, such as those relating to smoking and obesity. These harmful practices increase returns to shareholders and also blight the lives of many, but shareholders are not liable for the consequences because their liability is limited to the value of shares that they own but haven’t paid for. At AGMs, shareholders can ask questions about harmful practices but they cannot bind directors to follow a particular business strategy. The ultimate sanction is that shareholders can liquidate the company engaged in harmful practices, but that is extremely rare. The state can liquidate a corporation engaged in harmful practices, but shareholders are not required to make good the damage done to citizens.”