Securities Law Prof Blog

Editor: Eric C. Chaffee
Univ. of Toledo College of Law

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Event Announcement: Business Roundtable v. Milton Friedman: Reflections on the Second Anniversary of “Redefining” the Purpose of the Corporation

The Law & Economics Center (LEC) at George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School has asked me to post the following invitation:

Business Roundtable v. Milton Friedman: Reflections on the Second Anniversary of “Redefining” the Purpose of the Corporation

Date: Wednesday, August 18, 2021 

Time: 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM 

Where: National Press Club, 529 14th St, NW, Washington, DC, 20045

Almost 51 years ago, on September 13, 1970, Milton Friedman published an essay in The New York Times with a title that captured his thesis that “The Social Responsibility Of Business Is to Increase Its Profits.” This shareholder value maximization metric for evaluating the legal and financial fiduciary duties of corporate officers has served as the dominant paradigm for defining the purpose of the corporation both before and certainly for the fifty years after publication of Friedman’s influential essay. Yet, on August 19, 2019 – now nearly two years ago – the powerful Business Roundtable attempted to effect a dramatic shift away from the purpose of the corporation being defined by the single metric of shareholder wealth maximization. It released what it called a “new Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation signed by 181 CEOs who commit to lead their companies for the benefit of all stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, communities and shareholders." This move was received with both applause and condemnation, each of which continue two years later. 

Join us for a luncheon discussion where a panel of corporate governance experts will evaluate the economic and legal arguments involved in the debate over the proper purpose of the corporation and reflect on the state of the debate two years after the Business Roundtable’s attempt to erase the Friedman doctrine and redefine corporate purpose.

Lisa Fairfax

Presidential Professor and Co-Director, Institute for Law and Economics

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Donald J. Kochan

Professor of Law and Deputy Executive Director, Law & Economics Center

George Mason University Scalia Law School

Robert T. Miller

F. Arnold Daum Chair in Corporate Finance and Law

University of Iowa College of Law

Roberto Tallarita

Lecturer on Law and Associate Director of the Program on Corporate Governance

Harvard Law School




The Honorable David J. Porter

Circuit Judge

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit


Welcome Remarks


Ken Randall

Allison and Dorothy Rouse Dean and George Mason University Foundation Professor of Law

George Mason University Scalia Law School

Register Here


For questions, please contact Kaylie Wray: | 703.993.9044

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