Week InReview: December 13, 2019

"One theory of the world is that there is a group of like a dozen people who control every large corporation on earth and so wield immense though quiet power. 'The Problem of Twelve,' Harvard professor John Coates calls it, and it is one of my favorite conspiracy theories in that it is (1) boring and straightforward in its premises, (2) profound and far-reaching in its implications, and (3) kinda true. The 12 people (give or take) are the heads of the big asset-management firms, companies like BlackRock and Vanguard, and they collectively control much of the voting power at almost every public company. Most companies are answerable to them; they get to tell companies what to do, and they exercise this power to push their particular priorities.

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