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Financial Quotes

Corporate Responsibility Quotes

  • "I’m a little disappointed that the perpetrators of a crime that killed 11 people are still in charge of the crime scene."
    Dr John (1940–), US blues and jazz musician
    Referring to the management of BP, in the light of the oil-rig explosion that killed 11 workers and precipitated the Gulf Coast oil-spill disaster
    Source: Quoted in The Times (London) (May 31, 2010)
  • "On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world. Shareholder value is a result, not a strategy … Your main constituencies are your employees, your customers and your products."
    Jack Welch (1935–), US former CEO and chairman of General Electric
    Source: Speech quoted in the Financial Times (London) (March 13, 2009)
  • "Business has to be a force for social change. It is not enough to avoid hideous evil—it must, we must, actively do good. If business stays parochial, without moral energy or codes of behaviour, claiming there are no such thing as values, then God help us all. If you think morality is a luxury business can't afford, try living in a world without it."
    Dame Anita Roddick (19422007), British entrepreneur and founder of The Body Shop
    Speech, International Forum on Globalization Teach-In, Seattle, Washington.
    Source: “Trading with Principles” (November 27, 1999)
  • "Increasingly, I have become concerned that the motivation to meet Wall Street earnings expectations may be overriding common sense business practices … Managing may be giving way to manipulation; integrity may be losing out to illusion."
    Arthur Levitt, Jr (1931–), US author and former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission
    Speech to the New York University Center for Law and Business.
    Source: “The Numbers Game” (September 28, 1998)
  • "Companies have to be socially responsible or the shareholders pay eventually."
    Warren Shaw (1950–), US former CEO of Chancellor LGT Asset Management
    Source: “The Players,” Fortune (Eileen Gunn, April 1997)
  • "The market is a mechanism for sorting the efficient from the inefficient, it is not a substitute for responsibility."
    Charles Handy (1932–), Irish business executive and author
    Source: The Empty Raincoat: Making Sense of the Future (1994), pt. 1, ch. 1
  • "Only the little people pay taxes."
    Leona Helmsley (19202007), US hotelier
    Source: New York Times (July 1989)
  • "I would never make a decision which might be damaging to Turin's local administration. A Texan capitalist couldn't care less about local government, he couldn't care less about the federal government."
    Giovanni Agnelli (19212003), Italian business executive and president of Fiat
    Fiat's headquarters are based in Turin.
    Source: Quoted in Interview on Modern Capitalism (Arrigo Levi, 1983)
  • "Few trends could so thoroughly undermine the very foundations of our free society as the acceptance by corporate officials of a social responsibility other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible."
    Milton Friedman (19122006), US economist and winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize in Economics
    Source: Capitalism and Freedom (1962)
  • "The public be damned. I am working for my stockholders."
    William Henry Vanderbilt (18211885), US industrialist
    Refusing to speak to a reporter.
    Source: Quoted in a letter from A. W. Cole, New York Times (August 25, 1918)
  • "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility."
    Ambrose Bierce (18421914?), US journalist and writer
    Source: The Devil's Dictionary (1911)
  • "Corporate bodies are more corrupt and profligate than individuals because they have more power to do mischief and are less amenable to disgrace or punishment. They feel neither shame, remorse, gratitude, nor goodwill."
    William Hazlitt (17781830), British essayist and journalist
    Source: “On Corporate Bodies,” Table Talk (1821–22), Essay 27

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