Carl Icahn wants you be part of the U.S.A.
No, not that U.S.A. but the United Shareholders of America, the scourge of C-Suite incompetence, hubris and greed everywhere.
"We need an agressive plan . . . that is why I am launching the United Shareholders of America -- a voice for large and small shareholders. We must have a strong voice in Washington to combat pro-management forces," Ichan wrote on his blog.
Public Enemies Nos. 1 and 2 in Icahn's campaign are the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, "which annually spend huge sums of money in Washington to pass laws favoring managements and boards."
Icahn offers which might be a Bill of Rights for shareholders. It calls for and end to board compensation committees that annually jack up CEO pay; boards that thwart shareholders' rights to name their director candidates; boards that obstruct shareholders with self-protection devices like poison pills; and timid boards afraid to ask tough questions.
Icahn is modeling his movement after oil baron T. Boone Pickens' non-partisan campaign for energy independence. Pickens advertises widely. One wonders if Icahn will market his plan beyond his blog.
With the financial meltdown, maybe he'll get some followers.