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英翻中-上市公司已不合时宜-Part 1

2021-11-07 18:28:26 来源: 浏览:1
    英翻中-上市公司已不合时宜-Part 1
    原作者:Roger L. Martin,Former Dean,Rotman School
    THE PROFESSIONALLY MANAGED, widely-held, publicly traded corporation has been thedominant structurein business for the past 100 years. It came to prominence in the wakeof the Great Depression because it was effectiveat mobilizing capital from private investors—who by the 1960sheldmore than 80% of company stock—for productive ventures.The model enabled executives to focus on long-term growth andprofitability, to the benefit of the many individuals who ownedshares in their companies.Over the past 40 years, however, thefitness of the public corporation has been called into question. Critics charge that in today’s far more heavily traded capital markets,the model increasingly incentivizesexecutives to manage in tiny,short-term windows, with an eager eyeon their stock-based compensation anda fearful one on activist hedge funds.
    Whether or not they’re right, somethingisn’t working: The number of publiccompanies in the United States halvedfrom 1997 to 2015, while the numberof controlled companies (those with adominant shareholder or a dominant group of shareholders) in the SP 1500increased by 31% from 2002 to 2012. Thenumber of companies with multiplevoting shares among SP 500 companies increased by 140% from 2007 to 2017.
    In this article I’ll track the decline of the public corporation, explain why thatmodel no longer satisfies the primary needs of critical stakeholders, and present a new one that I believe could welldisplace the public corporation as thedominant structure in business.
    The Turning of the Tide局势之变
    The shift against public corporationscan be traced back to the late 1970s. Akey marker was a 1976 article publishedin the Journal of Financial Economics byMichael C. Jensen and William H. Meckling, titled “Theory of the Firm: Managerial Behavior, Agency Costs andOwnership Structure.”The paper argued that professionalmanagers are imperfect agents who, if left to their own devices, are inclined tomaximizetheir welfare rather than that of shareholders. The solution to thatproblem came to be seen as stock-basedcompensation. That idea and its underlyingassumption that the shareholderwas the company’s primary stakeholdertriggered an explosion in stock andstock-option grants over the following decades.
    人们对上市公司态度的转变可以追溯到上世纪70年代。一个关键的标志是Michael C. Jensen和William H. Meckling在1976年写的一篇文章。文章发布于《金融经济杂志》,标题是“有关公司的理论:管理行为、代管成本以及所有制结构“。文章指出:职业经理人并不是完美的公司代理人,一旦对其放任不管,他们便会把自己的利益凌驾于股东利益之上。解决方法就是把职业经理人的绩效和股票挂钩。这个方法和其背后的假设就是:股东才是公司的核心。此番言论引发了接下来几十年里股市的动荡,以及以赠股为核心的绩效方案的风靡。
    Unfortunately, there is little evidence (as I have argued elsewhere) that corporate performance has actually improved as a result. That’s partly because theshareholder-value revolution that Jensen and Meckling helped trigger has had the unintended consequence of focusing top executives on short-term movements in their companies’ stock prices rather than on long-term value creation. CEOs started meeting more and more often with investors and the analysts whose advice those investors followed. To demonstrate the superiority of their strategies, they would emphasize howmuchshareholder value they had created since last checking in. At the same time, falling transaction costs and new approaches to portfolio managementen couraged the large, professionally managed investment institutions to trade more actively.
    The corporate raiders who came toprominence in the early 1980s amplifiedthe effects of these trends. Their activismgave executives an added incentiveto pay close attention to the stock price.If they didn’t, a raider could launch ahostile takeover bid, gain control of thecompany, fire them, and possibly tearthe company apart to wring maximumimmediate value from it—as Carl Icahnfamously did with Trans World Airlinesafter his 1985 takeover. Where the raiders led, today’s activist hedge fundshave followed, but with far more capital at their disposal.
    1980年早期,企业狙击手(通过大量购买股票以达到控制某一公司的个人或机构)一战成名,再次给这股风潮添了把火。这些组织或个人之疯狂,让高管不得不更加密切关注公司股价,否则就会面临公司被恶意收购、股东失去控制权,自己被炒鱿鱼的危险局面。1985年,Carl Icahn就是这么狙击环球航空公司的。如今,激进对冲基金扮演了狙击手的角色,而且可供他们使用的弹药资金更多。
    What constituted good or bad management performance became clearly defined from one perspective following the creation in 1980 of the First Callservice, which aggregated analysts’ forecasts to come up with a “consensus forecast” of each company’s quarterly revenueand earnings. An executive team knows that if it doesn’t hit the consensus forecast, its company’s stock will be trounced by traders, increasing the danger of a hostile takeover. That provides executives with a powerful incentive to meet the quarterly consensuseven if doing so means sacrificing longer-term goals. Research confirms that they do indeed make this trade-off. They may even engage in fraud: In the early 2000s executives seeking to boost their stock price were responsible for accounting scandals of a magnitude never seen before: those involving Enron in 2001 and Adelphia, Global Crossing, WorldCom, and Tyco in 2002.
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