Activist shareholder Carl Icahn rallied against the corporate governance system in American business in a Wall Street Journal editorial published Wednesday.
"What baffles me is that voting rights really don't apply to public corporations," he wrote in the article. "Shareholders can vote, but boards can just ignore them under the 'business judgment rule' backed by state laws and courts. In the middle ages, feudal lords asserted the 'divine right' of royalty to justify their lordly positions while plundering the peasants. Today's boards act like they are vested with similar powers: the divine right of boards!"