Paul Lachine

Politik und Geld aus Unternehmen

CAMBRIDGE – In einem Urteil des Obersten Gerichtshofs der Vereinigten Staaten wurde vor kurzem die Freiheit von Unternehmen ausgeweitet, Wahlkämpfe und Kandidaten zu finanzieren – eine Freiheit, die auch Unternehmen in anderen Ländern der Welt genießen. Das wirft bekannte Fragen über die Demokratie und die Macht des Privatsektors auf, doch wird eine weitere wichtige Frage häufig übersehen: Wer soll in einer Aktiengesellschaft entscheiden, ob Geld für die Politik ausgegeben wird, wie viel und zu welchen Zwecken?

Nach den traditionellen Bestimmungen für Unternehmen unterliegen die Entscheidungen über die politischen Äußerungen von Aktiengesellschaften denselben Vorschriften wie normale Geschäftsentscheidungen. Daher können solche Entscheidungen getroffen werden, ohne die einfachen Aktionäre oder nichtgeschäftsführenden Direktoren zu Rate zu ziehen, und ohne eine detaillierte Offenlegung – alles Schutzbestimmungen, die das Unternehmensrecht für andere Entscheidungen des Managements vorsieht, z. B. in Bezug auf die Vergütung von Führungskräften oder Geschäfte mit nahestehenden Personen oder Unternehmen.

In einem vor kurzem erschienen Artikel argumentieren Robert Jackson und ich jedoch, dass sich Entscheidungen über politische Äußerungen grundlegend von anderen Geschäftsentscheidungen unterscheiden. Die Interessen der Direktoren, Führungskräfte und dominanten Anteilseigner können bei solchen Entscheidungen oft bedeutend von denen der öffentlichen Investoren abweichen.

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