Henry Ford famously said:
“My ambition is to employ still more men, to spread the benefits of this industrial system to the greatest possible number, to help them build up their lives and their homes. To do this we are putting the greatest share of our profits back in the business."
- Were Mr Ford and his co-directors of Ford Motor Co entitled to refuse to pay dividends on this ground?
- Can the directors of a bank validly decide not to provide finance to fossil fuel companies, however profitable it may be to do so?
- What is the duty of directors of business corporations today? Is it still to maximise shareholder wealth?
- If so, must they maximise the share price in the short term? Does shareholder wealth maximisation collide with community expectations about proper corporate culture and if so, what should the law prescribe?