Financial History Issue 127 (Fall 2018) | Page 21

shareholder objection—CSRA, Conoco Phillips, Siebel, Symantec and Union Pacific Railroad—while others overcame or overlooked shareholder resistance— Comcast, Duke Energy, Intel, PayPal and Warner Music Group. Proponents cite several advantages for virtual-only shareholder annual meetings. These start with lower costs, potentially increasing the number of shareholders tuning in, and a cost-benefit framework that stresses that few attend and little occurs. A related advantage argues that institutional owners cannot attend all the meetings where they own stock because their portfolios are so diversified while ability to tune-in increases coverage. A final asserted benefit notes that virtual annual meetings are not much different from quarterly conference calls. Skeptics counter each point, especially the assertion that the meeting is a mere formality not worth the cost. As history suggests, engaged managers and share- holders have made the meetings produc- tive. The virtual-only format is unlikely to produce gains like those from the Gilberts and Soss pressing managers, or Ben & Jerry and Warren & Charlie meeting their shareholders. Poor turnout and banality are not reasons to abandon the meeting, but rather rationales to reinvest in it to realize its historical promise.  Lawrence A. Cunningham is a profes- sor at George Washington University and a member of the Financial History editorial board. Stephanie Cuba is a real estate consultant in New York City. The two, husband and wife, are co-editors of The Warren Buffett Shareholder: Stories from Inside the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting (2018). Note 1. The Library of Congress holds volumes 1951 through 1974, but they do not circu- late; the New York Public Library holds volumes 1946 through 1968, though at its off-storage site available only to New York State residents; and the George Washing- ton University Law Library holds 1959 through 1979 (other than 1962 and 1971). They are not widely offered for sale online. Sources Brooks, John. “Stockholder Season.” The New Yorker. October 8, 1966. ENCOURAGING COLLECTING SINCE 1978 No.106 - APRIL 2018 Great Guano... the birth of the fertilizer industry! – page 24 Gilbert, John J. and Lewis D. Gilbert. Annual Reports on Stockholder Activities at Corpo- ration Meetings. Corporate Democracy Inc., annual editions. 1959–1979. Hardee, Covington. “Book Review of Gilbert & Gilbert, 14th Annual Report of Stockholders Activities at Corporation Meetings.” Har- vard Law Review. 1954. Logan, Andy. “Hoboken Must Go.” The New Yorker. March 17, 1951. Mohn, Tanya. “Shareholder Meetings: Unearthing the History.” Directors & Boards. 2017. Penn, Stanley. “Point of Order.” The Wall Street Journal. April 8, 1963. Traflet, Janet and Robert E. Wright. “Queen of the Corporate Gadflies.” Financial His- tory. 2016. Trillin, Calvin. “New York, Richmond, Detroit, Thoughts of a Non-Shareholder Whose Mind Tends to Wander During Meetings.” The New Yorker. June 3, 1972. INTERNATIONAL BOND & SHARE SOCIETY THE JOURNAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL BOND & SHARE SOCIETY SCRIPOPHILY Cepuch, Randy. A Weekend with Warren Buf- fett and Other Shareholder Meeting Adven- tures. Basic Books. 2007. PUTTING FINANCIAL HISTORY IN YOUR HANDS The International Bond and Share Society has supported collectors of vintage bonds and shares from all countries since 1978. For $32, €25 or £20 annually, receive : Japanese Scripophily Art – page 21 Joerg Benecke Reminises – page 10 ◆ Three issues a year of our full color 32 page journal Scripophily with news, in-depth articles, auction reports and more ◆ Membership Directory listing dealers, auction houses and fellow collectors ◆ Members-only part of the Society website, ◆ Breakfast meetings at annual major collector events in New York City, Washington DC and Antwerp, Belgium Potted Scripophily ➠ NATIONAL SHOW GREAT PARTY ➠ FIREMAN BILL ON OHIO – page 14 For further information contact Of Mice and Bytes Auction Reports – page 31 Italian State Bonds – page 18 – page 16 Sharing Scripophily – page 12 Max Hensley President US Chapter 116 Parklane Dr., San Antonio, TX 78212 USA Philip Atkinson Membership Secretary 167 Barnett Wood Lane, Ashtead, Surrey, KT21 2LP, UK Or visit our website -  |  Fall 2018  |  FINANCIAL HISTORY  19