Monday, 5 March 2018

Two interesting things

1. There are two different pieces about shareholder primacy, and why it might be a bad idea, in the FT today. One from the City editor of the FT and one from Rana Foroohar. Meanwhile Theresa May (remember her?) has criticised directors getting paid in way that is based on returns to shareholders.

I know I keep saying this, but I really feel that the ground is shifting, and that public policy will shift away from its 1990s focus on shareholders (and trying to make them act as a proxy for the public). There are people on Left and Right who think shareholders just aren't up to the job, for often quite different reasons. But what comes next is far from clear, hence that's where we on the Left should be busy.

2. There is a really interesting idea from Joe Dromey here: auto-enrolment into union membership (based on the experience of pensions). I can think of a couple of issues here. Part of the justification for pensions AE was that many people said that they should be saving but weren't getting around to it. So AE was helping them do what they thought they should be doing. I'm not sure we are quite in the same place with unions. Second, which union should you be enrolled into where there isn't one active?

But these are quibbles, I really like the idea. And it cuts very much with the grain from all the behavioural stuff that you should make things that you want people to do as easy as possible (which is why the Tories want to making joining a union harder, and don't want to make voting in a ballot easier).

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