Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Some Great Quotes from a paper by Paddy Ireland

Quoted in Limited liability, shareholder rights and the problem of corporate irresponsibility by Paddy Ireland, published in the Cambridge Journal of Economics, 2010.

JSCs are Joint Stock Companies, much like any modern company with publicly traded stock:

JSC shareholders, The Times complained in 1840, wanted to "enjoy the profits of trade consistently with the luxury of being sleeping partner[s]". They wanted "to be able to embark in business without being a man of business; to be able to share in the profits of trade without knowledge of trade, or any education in it; without abilities, without character, without any attention or exertion … ". JSCs were "a means or making money in idleness, in compulsory idleness."

This quote is very well done, if you ask me. Edward Cox was the editor of the Law Times:

… that he who acts through an agent should be responsible for his agent's acts, and that he who shares the profits of an enterprise ought also to be subject to its losses; that there is a moral obligation, which it is the duty of the laws of a civilised nation to enforce, to pay debts, perform contracts and make reparation for wrongs. Limited liability is founded on the opposite principle and permits a man to avail himself of acts if advantageous to him, and not to be responsible for them if they should be disadvantageous; to speculate for profits without being liable for losses; to make contracts, incur debts, and commit wrongs, the law depriving the creditor, the contractor, and the injured of a remedy against the property or person of the wrongdoer, beyond the limit, however small, at which it may please him to determine his own liability (Cox, 1856, pp. i–ii)