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Since the world's first stock market crash (the South Sea Bubble of 1720) corporations were perceived as dangerous.
This was because, as the economist Adam Smith wrote in The Wealth of Nations (1776), directors managed "other people's money" and this conflict of interest meant directors were prone to "negligence and profusion".
A new Securities and Exchange Commission was empowered to require corporations disclose all material information about their business to the investing public.
Because many shareholders were physically distant from corporate headquarters where meetings would take place, new rights were made to allow people to cast votes via proxies, on the view that this and other measures would make directors more accountable.
At the same time he bears no responsibility with respect to the enterprise or its physical property. No such responsibility attaches to a share of stock.
It has often been said that the owner of a horse is responsible. The owner is practically powerless through his own efforts to affect the underlying property...
In response, the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 was created to break up big business conglomerates, and the Clayton Act of 1914 gave the government power to halt mergers and acquisitions that could damage the public interest.
By the end of the First World War, it was increasingly perceived that ordinary people had little voice compared to the "financial oligarchy" of bankers and industrial magnates.
They said directors had become too unaccountable, and the markets lacked basic transparency rules.
This led directly to the New Deal reforms of the Securities Act of 1933 and Securities and Exchange Act of 1934.
Before the Wall Street Crash of 1929, people were being sold shares in corporations with fake businesses, as accounts and business reports were not made available to the investing public.
'over the enterprise and over the physical property – the instruments of production – in which he has an interest, the owner has little control.
United States corporate law regulates the governance, finance and power of corporations in US law.