Nous, les entreprises ?

CHICAGO – On aurait pu croire que 600 000 commentaires sur une pétition auraient suffi à porter une question en tête de l'ordre du jour de la Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) des Etats-Unis. Mais l'opinion publique semble n'avoir aucune importance quand la question touche à la divulgation obligatoire des dépenses politiques par les entreprises.

En dissipant les rumeurs d'après lesquelles une telle règle serait bientôt promulguée, la Présidente du SEC Mary Jo White a récemment signifié aux législateurs que cette question n'est pas en tête de sa liste de priorités. Elle est pourtant le premier des soucis du parti républicain, trahi par la détermination de ses dirigeants à empêcher une telle prescription d'entrer en vigueur. En avril Ann Wagner, membre du parti républicain au Congrès, a présenté un projet de loi visant à interdire à la Securities and Exchange Commission d'édicter des règles exigeant la divulgation des dépenses de l'émetteur sur ses activités politiques.

La raison pour laquelle une telle question apparemment mineure attire autant l'attention, c'est qu'elle transcende la gouvernance d'entreprise et touche à l'essence même du système démocratique des Etats-Unis. C'est pourquoi il importe de comprendre ce qui est en jeu.

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