Is US capitalism really abandoning the ‘greed is good’ mantra? | Larry Elliott

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The US roundtablers’ pledge is woolly. So it’s baby steps for now to stop Capitol Hill forcing more drastic changes

Milton Friedman will be spinning in his grave at the heresy perpetrated by the US Business Roundtable. For the thick end of five decades US capitalism has been run along Friedmanite lines – namely that businesses are there to make money for their shareholders. No charitable giving, no diversity awareness. No green audits. Just making money. Period.

Now some of the highest paid on the planet have appeared to ditch the idea of shareholder primacy. Sure, they say, shareholders matter but so do a range of other stakeholders: customers, employees, suppliers and communities. Workers must be treated with dignity and respect. Businesses will be run sustainably in order to protect the environment.

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