Repeat after me, Ignorance is Bliss. Its the new shareholder credo.
If shareholders are ignorant of their responsibilities as owners of a company, then company management can do anything and everything “in the name of shareholders”
If shareholders are ignorant, then brokerages can do whatever they want with the shares of stock they hold for their customers. So lets set some things straight.
Shareholders, there is a good chance, particularly if you invest in companies that have a large short interest, that your shares will be LOANED out to traders who want to short the stock.
This is not a loan that has no value to you, the shareholder. If you hold the share of stock in YOUR NAME, you can be PAID for loaning the stock. In fact, for some stocks, you are paid quite a bit.
So if you own a share of stock and you take money for it being loaned out, then you have to understand that the person who borrowed your share may vote the share. In fact, your shares may not only be loaned to someone trying to short the stock, it may be loaned out to someone who only wants to VOTE THE STOCK.
You get paid for loaning the stock. Its your job to know what rights you have to the share of stock that has been loaned out. It is your job to discuss with your broker whether or not you want your shares loaned out. If you get paid to loan the share, and its voted in a way that goes against your interests, you can scream all you want, but you prostituted your rights.
Shareholders, there is a good chance that a CEO, who lives in a totally different world than you do is telling the media that what he is doing, is in your name.
Firing those people to increase earnings by 1c per share. Its for you. Outsourcing jobs. Its for you. Making windfall profits because oil prices are skyrocketing, its for you. Paying the last CEO who just quit on you tens of millions of dollars. Its for you. Paying himself tens of millions of dollars, and negotiating a Platinum parachute. Its for you. Is this what you, as a shareholder wants ?
Sharedholders are supposed to be the owners of the company. Shareholders are supposed to select the board, which in turn hires the CEO. Shareholders are supposed to weigh in on corporate issues and direction. Are you exercising your rights as a shareholder ? Or No?
Are you just hoping the stock price goes up ? Are you oblivious to the fact that the people running the company might be selling out your personal ethics ? Are you oblivious to the CEO and officers putting their own personal interests first ? Do you even notice when the CEO of your company does something that conflicts with your beliefs, saying “its for you, the shareholder”. Has it dawned on you that the CEO and board of the company you own shares in thinks you are so docile and clueless about what’s going on they don’t care what you really think ?
Its time for all shareholders to realize they have a responsibility as owners of stock. That if you don’t fulfill that obligation, you are nothing more than a corporate toad and your share of stock is nothing more than a baseball card, worth what the next one will pay for it.
Be Smart. Know your rights as a shareholder