Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1990

Center/Program

Center for Law and Economic Studies

Center/Program

Center for Contract and Economic Organization

Abstract

Managerialist rhetoric puts the institutional investor between a rock and a hard place. The institutional investor is depicted as a paper colossus, alternatively greedy and mindless, but in all events a less important corporate constituency than that other kind of investor, the "real" shareholder. The unspoken corollary is that, regardless of the institution's investment strategy, its interests may appropriately be ignored.

An institution that trades stock frequently is considered a short-term shareholder without a stake in the future of the corporation. According to the familiar argument, the short-term shareholder has no more legitimate claim on management's attention than does a holder of options on the company's securities. Neither investor really cares about the corporation. They are only concerned, as is commonly known, with the fickle walk of market prices during the brief interval in which they are investing.1

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