Edward Coke

"Corporations cannot commit treason, nor be outlawed, nor excommunicate, for they have no souls."

Edward Coke (pictured) wrote these much-repeated words in the Case of Sutton's Hospital.

The theme permeated the 2003 film The Corporation and represents to many a fundamental flaw in the way we manage our world.

While it is true that a corporation, as a whole, may very well do things that an individuals (with a soul) would recoil from, corporations do have a weakness.

Since they are single-mindedly driven towards profit and dividends like salmon at spawning time, they are very responsive to legistative or judicial initiatives that threaten their cash-flow or assets.