Icahn's Dell Campaign Shows Activism (of a Sort) Is Back

Carl Icahn, billionaire investor Photograph by Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Pyongyang’s top muralist could do a fine job illustrating the ideal that is shareholder democracy. Picture students, workers, and retirees brandishing stock certificates while lording over America’s smokestacks, servers, and grain elevators, as well as the sausage extruders of Iowa and Wall Street. All while C-suite executives serve them sweet iced tea. The very laudable fable is that we, the shareholding people, ultimately own public U.S. companies. They answer to us and operate at our pleasure. Mess up or waste our money and we’ll vote you out.

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