Icahn-dy: Shareholder rights (ab)used to the detriment of long termism?

Are better empowered shareholders egging companies on to return too much capital for our collective good? It’s a popular theory right now, but is this actually reason to rethink improvements in shareholder rights?

The theory goes that (activist) shareholders are taking advantage of better shareholder rights to cajole boards into returning ever more money through buy-backs and dividends; money which should instead be re-invested by the companies on strategic long term growth (capital investment, R&D, etc) for better future returns not only at a company level but also a (wider) macro one.… Read the rest