Aujourd'hui, c'est au tour d'abord de Lynn Stout d'écrire un commentaire dans le Wall Street Journal sur les fonds de couverture. Intitulé Why Carl Icahn Is Bad for Investors [ici - abonnement requis], le commentaire de Stout insiste sur l'approche "court-termiste" de ces fonds:
Shareholder activism can raise the stock price of a particular company, to benefit particular shareholders, in the short run. But it lowers the value of the stock market as a whole, for average investors, in the long run.
This is because the shareholder activists that corporate boards fear most today are hedge funds like Mr. Icahn's: unregulated pools of wealthy investors who take large positions in a few select companies, use their ownership position to pressure boards into strategies they claim unlock "shareholder value," and then dump their stock as soon as the price rises.[...]Hedge funds want to make money, quick. They push for strategies that raise the stock price of the few companies they own but may lower the stocks of other companies, or that raise prices in the short term while harming companies' long-term prospects.
Larry Ribstein lui répond ici avec un commentaire dont l'essentiel est ceci:
Bottom line: there’s little support for Stout’s conclusion “that increasing shareholder activism may be a cure that is worse than the disease, at least for the average investor.”
Pour l'instant, si les positions théoriques sont bien campées, difficile de trancher ce débat empiriquement à mon avis.