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  1. The idea that corporate management should focus on maximizing shareholder value is under attack, often in hyperbolic terms, with this idea blamed for great and varied harm (e.g., underinvestment, inefficiency, inequality and the failure of people to appreciate the film Ishtar). Recently, James Montier of the esteemed, including by me, money manager Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co., voicing the views of many, wrote a piece calling it “The World’s Dumbest Idea.” Luckily for markets and the economy, this is not the world’s dumbest idea — not close. It’s imperfect, as all things are, but it’s not even a little bit “dumb.”