The Little People

gulliver1.jpgI wonder if there is any data on the distribution of stock ownership for a large sample of public companies.  It assume it’s conventional wisdom that management can capture a large portion of the profits when the firm’s share holders are more diffuse v.s. when the  ownership is concentrated in a few hands.  I think I’ve seen articles showing that result.  This is, yet again, a question about the power-law distribution.  It would be fascinating to see some analysis of company performance versus how skewed the ownership distribution is.

This is analogous to yesterday’s point, via Bob Wyman, about how when a platform vendor successfully atomizes the size of the options created by his platform can improve his monopoly.  Large firms always labor to keep their complementary players commoditized; management presumably always labors to keep shareholder power fragmented; and anti-democratic movements always labor to keep group forming limited to the family unit.  It’s why we are suspicious of populism, and why I’m doubtful about the Deep Green’s enthusiasm for local.
It would be cool to have the SEC require reporting of the aggregate statistics of firm stock holdings.  Who knows, possibly that data is reported.  Say indirectly thru reporting of shareholder voting data.

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