James Surowiecki in The New Yorker on Facebook's IPO Like most of the recent high-profile tech IPOs, Facebook's featured a dual-class share structure that gives more voting power to shareholders like Mark Zuckerberg than to those who bought the company's stock on Friday. Surowiecki writes, "Whereas the C.E.O.s of most public companies have to spend time kowtowing to investors, Zuckerberg and his peers are insisting on the right to say, 'Thanks for your money. Now shut up.' There's reason to be concerned at the spread of the dual-class structure." Surowiecki describes the forces that have required shareholders to accept these arrangements, and he notes that they can be good for companies that want to avoid shareholders short-sighted interests. "Public companies aren't going to disappear, but we are witnessing a significant shift in power from shareholders to entrepreneurs and managers, one that may make the stock market less central to American capitalism."
Michael Medved in The Daily Beast on competing for the popular vote Medved proposes a situation in which President Obama wins large majorities in several populous states giving him the popular vote by a large margin, whereas Romney's sweeps come in smaller states but he manages an electoral victory. We've faced this situation only once before and in that case, the popular vote was much closer than in Medved's imagined situation, so he predicts the various ways this would cause a huge crisis for Republicans. "[T]he best policy would be to compete fiercely in every major population center while recognizing that in this unique election, even popular votes that seem theoretically irrelevant may play a role in averting catastrophe."