There are two excellent articles today on the same topic - the letter from investor Seth Klarman that is making the rounds at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

It covers many topics, like the broader responsibility that companies today must accept.

For a generation of business leaders, maximizing shareholder value has been a central doctrine, a theory that is invoked to justify cutting jobs and benefits in order to reward investors with dividends and stock buybacks. But, in a speech at Harvard Business School last fall, Klarman argued that American capitalism has been damaged by the obsession with short-term stock prices. “Does anyone really believe that shareholders are the only constituency that matters: not customers, not employees, not the community or the country or Planet Earth?” he asked.

He emphasized that business cannot operate blind to today’s social and political climate.

It can’t be business as usual amid constant protests, riots, shutdowns and escalating social tensions. […] Social frictions remain a challenge for democracies around the world, and we wonder when investors might take more notice of this. Social cohesion is essential for those who have capital to invest.

He also warns of the rising amount of sovereign debt in the US, Canada, France and other nations. From the NYT article:

For one thing, he details the way virtually every developed country has taken on mounting debt since the financial crisis in 2008, a trend that he says could lead to a financial panic. He cites the increasing ratio of government debt to gross domestic product from 2008 to 2017, to a point exceeding 100 percent in the United States and nearing that figure in France, Canada, Britain and Spain.

“The seeds of the next major financial crisis (or the one after that) may well be found in today’s sovereign debt levels,” he said.

Mr. Klarman is especially worried about debt load in the United States, what it could mean to the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency and how it could ultimately affect the country’s economy.

“There is no way to know how much debt is too much, but America will inevitably reach an inflection point whereupon a suddenly more skeptical debt market will refuse to continue to lend to us at rates we can afford,” he wrote. “By the time such a crisis hits, it will likely be too late to get our house in order.”