The ‘corporation’ or public limited company dominates the lives of most of us in the Western world; it consumes our daily energies, provides our livelihood, and helps generate the goods and services upon which we all depend.
In devising its structure today, we’d come up with some framework to co-ordinate the various participators into a coherent whole, with the control and rewards somehow apportioned according to the value of the current input. But that didn’t happen in the 16th century, when liquid capital was in short supply, while labour, skills, and even enterprise were abundant in the market place. In those social and economic condition...
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