I found this inside story – Messages between Mark Zuckerberg and Marc Andreessen surface in Facebook lawsuit (link here) – that came out about nine months ago.
This is an old news but this gives you an idea how “stock ownership” works.
Of course, we know very well that by buying a small chunk of ownership as minority owners, in your case, of local companies such as Jollibee, Meralco, SM mall, BPI, etcetera – your tiny ownership has a voice!
In the case of this Facebook story [Facebook is a publicly listed company in the US whereas those companies you bought are publicly listed companies in the Philippines], minority or tiny shareholders were able to effectively block a major decision by majority owner/s through a lawsuit. This was an avenue used by select shareholder(s) – who sought to represent the minority/public owners – because the company board, per my understanding of this news story, has been made already through an assigned committee.
In our case, it’s impractical to go through that kind of trouble. I’d rather that you sell all your stocks of any company where you have some ownership, if you don’t trust anymore the people whose running that particular company. But what I’m saying is your company ownership – no matter how small – has a voice; and yes! even a power to move bigger shareholders as well.
In the latest story, Facebook’s (or its founder’s) good philanthropic plan — or more precisely, the method chosen for funding its philanthropic plan — has to be abandoned so the concerns of the suing shareholders can be addressed. The stand off between the (suing representatives of the) minority and majority owners will more likely be effectively resolved through settlement (read more of that story in this link ).
This is a democracy at work. And we can’t deny the fact that there will always be power plays in terms of money. As Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor of Organizational Behavior at the Graduate School of Business in Stanford University, says in his article Power Play: “The person with the gold gets to make the rules.” More moneyed people will have bigger voice but that does not mean they can’t be muted by less moneyed people.
In that sense, stocks ownership is a great equalizer.
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