Across the left end of the political spectrum, the cry “dare to be more like Switzerland!” can be heard. It’s new, and it’s original. The cause of all the enthusiasm for Switzerland is the Swiss referendum on the “Minder Initiative”– commonly called the “fat-cat pay initiative” in Germany, since hardly anyone here knows the initiator, Thomas Minder, owner of a Swiss family business and independent lawmaker.

The purpose of the latest Swiss initiative doesn’t need weighty analysis: if it leads to shareholders being able to directly decide the salaries their CEOs take home, it will amount to the correction of an institutional framework that could bring together ownership and control.

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