IMHO there is a trending body of thought that suggests shareholders are not owners but speculative lenders. The recent Apple dividend distribution was caused by economists blogging and publicly decrying the company’s hoard. This caused the company to issue dividends defensively. And the powerlessness (and frankly, lack of utility) of shareholders was part of that discussion. Lynn Stout has written a book “The Shareholder Value Myth” and I think it accurately represents the mythology around shareholder ownership.