Paul Lachine

Política y dinero empresarial

CAMBRIDGE – Una reciente resolución hecha pública por el Tribunal Supremo de los Estados Unidos amplió la libertad de las empresas para gastar dinero en campañas políticas y candidatos, libertad de la que disfrutan las empresas en otros países de todo el mundo. Dicha resolución plantea cuestiones muy conocidas sobre la democracia y el poder privado, pero con frecuencia se pasa por alto otra cuestión importante: ¿quién debe decidir en una empresa cuyas acciones se coticen en Bolsa si gastar fondos en política, cuánto y para qué fines?

Conforme a las normas tradicionales del derecho de sociedades, las decisiones sobre pronunciamientos políticos de empresas que cotizan en Bolsa están sujetas a las mismas normas que las decisiones empresariales corrientes. En consecuencia, se pueden adoptar dichas decisiones sin la aportación de los accionistas corrientes o de directores independientes y sin su revelación detallada: salvaguardas, todas ellas, que el derecho de sociedades establece en relación con otras decisiones de la dirección, como, por ejemplo, las relativas a la remuneración de los ejecutivos o las transacciones entre partes vinculadas.

Sin embargo, en un artículo reciente Robert Jackson y yo sostenemos que las decisiones sobre pronunciamientos políticos son fundamentalmente diferentes de las decisiones empresariales normales. Los intereses de los directores, ejecutivos y accionistas mayoritarios respecto de dichas decisiones pueden con frecuencia divergir en gran medida de las de los inversores públicos.

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