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Finance and the Good Society by Robert J. Shiller

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Chapter 1

Chief Executive Officers

The CEO of a company is in a very special position, because he or she stands for an idea—the core idea behind the company’s activities, a way of thinking that defines the work of all the company’s employees, and a culture that includes its corporate values, connecting the company to the larger society.

The CEO is responsible for the formulation of short-run goals that promote that very idea. The CEO embodies the purpose of the company. This responsibility has to be put, to a significant extent, into the hands of an individual and not a committee of equals, just as the writing of a novel usually has to be put into the hands of one individual. Human society has natural tendencies that can coordinate the activities ...

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