Fox Business host, Stuart Varney said the Business Roundtable’s attempt to win over 2020 democratic candidates will fail and he questioned their understanding of the “purpose of a corporation,” when they apparently appear to be downplaying the role of shareholders.
“I don’t know whether it was an image polishing effort or a genuine shift by business but I’m really not wild about the statement from the business round table,” said Varney.
According to their website, Business Roundtable is an “association of CEOs of America’s leading companies working to promote a thriving U.S. economy and expanded opportunity for all through sound public policy.” On Monday, they announced the release of a new Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation signed by 181 CEOs who committed to leading their companies “for the benefit of all stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders.”
“The American dream is alive, but fraying,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman, and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Chairman of Business Roundtable. “Major employers are investing in their workers and communities because they know it is the only way to be successful over the long term. These modernized principles reflect the business community’s unwavering commitment to continue to push for an economy that serves all Americans.”
Varney was quick to call out the association for their failure to prioritize shareholders, listing them last in their list concerning their new “nice” policy.
“The very top echelons from American business issued a statement pledging awareness of social issues,” he said. “They want companies to be first and foremost, nice. They want the business to be sensitive to customers, employees, suppliers, communities, and almost as an afterthought — shareholders. Maybe we should remind the titans of business that it is shareholders who own the company and it is their money that is at risk,” said the Fox Business host.
“There is a lot wrong with their ideas,” he continued. “If shareholder capital is diverted outside the company, future performance suffers — and that means all stakeholders suffer, innovation suffers, the competitive ethic suffers. I don’t know about you but I invest in companies that make a lot of money and that’s what we want them to do….and we all have our own personal values….but that’s not what these companies are talking about. They’re engaged in a reversal of corporate priorities. Doesn’t look like profit is job one these days,” he said.
Varney blamed 2020 Democratic candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders as the force that drove the association to release the statement, calling it a “deliberate softening of capitalism’s image.”
“Who knows who wins in 2020? Business is hedging its bets, but I have news for business royalty — no amount of softening and promising to be nice will do any good at all. If the socialists win, you are toast,” Varney warned.
“Get real,” he urged. “Support vigorous capitalism which made America great in the first place.”
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