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Illustration: Greg Ruben/Axios

Reinvigorated corporate governance could be key to bringing the "blue wave" to shore this November.

At least, that's what seems to be the thinking of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who just unveiled a new plan that would, among other things, let large company employees elect around 40% of that company's board of directors.

The details: It's called the Accountable Capitalism Act. Here's the bill text.

  • It focuses on companies with at least $1 billion in revenue, and would require them to obtain a federal charter via a proposed U.S. Commerce Department office, obligating them to consider the interests of all corporate stakeholders (i.e., shareholders, employees, community). One immediate consequence could be reduction in successful shareholder lawsuits on fiduciary grounds.
  • It would prevent officers or directors from selling stock within five years of receipt or within three years of a company stock buyback.
  • It would prevent companies from making political candidate expenditures without approval of 75% of directors or shareholders.

No, this isn't going to become law, particularly with the current Congress. And the proposed "corporate charter" requirements are way too vague to be practically applied.

But, politically speaking, it could be the sort of pro-worker, economic populism that Democrats successfully adopt to contrast themselves with Trump, without veering to the anti-capitalist left. A pitch that emphasizes how much of the 2017 tax cuts were used by corporations for stock buybacks rather than for substantially increased wages.

  • It's also something that I could see some big companies supporting (at least publicly), given that it's not a tax, and could further inoculate themselves from the socialist specter.

The bottom line: Warren's proposal is DOA as legislation, but it could be the beginning of a very loud conversation.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 9 hours ago - Technology

A dark view of the future of autonomous weapons

A still from the video "If Human: Kill ( )." Image: Future of Life Institute

A new short film warns of the coming risks posed by the development and proliferation of lethal autonomous weapons.

Why it matters: Drones with the ability to autonomously target and kill without the assistance of a human operator are reportedly already being used on battlefields, and time is running out to craft a global ban of what could be a destabilizing and terrifying new class of weapon.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine — Pfizer could have vaccine data for children under five by end of 2021, CEO says.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Prosecutors charge parents of Michigan school shooting suspect

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, according to court documents.

The latest: Lawyers for James and Jennifer Crumbley told the Detroit News they are "returning to the area to be arraigned," after law enforcement officials announced a search for the Crumbleys had been initiated.