Comment: Look up the debate on shareholder vs stakeholder primacy

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Look up the debate on shareholder vs stakeholder primacy

These are competing interpretations of current law on this matter. The net effect of both is that a company is mandated (by the legal structure of shareholder's wielding power over the board) to do everything in their power to work 'for the sole purpose of stock price' or 'for the long term purpose of the long term stock health'. The nutshell is that both CAN be interpreted to mean short term stock price in reference to any specific board action. As such, lawsuits can and do get won against the board all the time for wasting too much money on non-profit-now things.

The 'Benefit' company example was to show you that a new form of corporate governance is being tested in some states that legally allows a board of directors to do things like R&D, philanthropy, pay-it-forward/back, etc. without the fear of getting sued by its stockholders. In other words, it's SO RADICAL a departure from current law that they had to make a legal type of incorporation just to ensure it's safe for board members to use.

If you're looking for an actual law that says "corporations must place profit first" you have to go to the individual states' incorporation steps. In there, you'll find how you must offer stock this way and follow those rules for pricing it and appoint a certain number (min) of board members and create a mission statement and state the corporations reason for existence. In many states, it actually mandates that the mission statement includes a statement that shareholder profit and value is the first/top/sole goal. Other states leave it in the grey language they require.