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Property, Power and PoliticsWhy We Need to Rethink the World Power System$
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Jean-Philippe Robé

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781529213164

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529213164.001.0001

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The Spreading of the Corporate System and its Consequences

The Spreading of the Corporate System and its Consequences

Chapter:
(p.241) 8 The Spreading of the Corporate System and its Consequences
Source:
Property, Power and Politics
Author(s):

Jean-Philippe Robé

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781529213164.003.0009

Business corporations developed in the industrializing world in a legal environment which was initially hostile to them. Incorporation was transformed from a privilege into a right. The development of corporate law has led to the advent of Financial Capitalism, in which two forms of capital exist in connection with any given bundle of assets and contracts There is first the capital and contracts required by the productive activity; and there is then the financial capital represented by the financial instruments issued by the corporation. The Chapter provides an example of the evolving relation between firms and States in a globalized economy. The model of a firm adapting its corporate structure to the opportunities offered by the evolving legal rules in an international economy is used. It leads to a reassessment of the necessity to differentiate firms from corporations and to insist on the importance of the rules of corporate governance. The opportunities offered to multinational firms by the international economy combined with an improper mandate to maximize short-term shareholder value, and the biased accounting rules accompanying it, lead to the accounting acknowledgement of « shareholder value creation » even when no real « value » is being created.

Keywords:   Corporate law, Financial capitalism, Corporate governance, Shareholder value, Real value, Accounting rules

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