Translating the following article into Chinese

BHS scandal: an overhaul of company law is needed to curb greedy owners

Your leader is right to draw attention to executive behaviour at the heart of the BHS scandal but to see this in terms of a moral vacuum is to misunderstand the nature of human behaviour (“BHS and the moral vacuum in big business”, Comment).

Rather than deploring the owners’ apparent lack of moral scruple, let us instead ask from where the sense of propriety that defines our current crop of business titans draws its strength.

Modern economics teaches many things that are of dubious merit but the idea that shipbuilding, steel manufacture, high street retail or healthcare are just different forms of money-making is the most insidious. Until the Chicago school economic principles that define our culture are overturned then no amount of talk of corporate social responsibility will put things right.

The problem with BHS and other big businesses is the structure of company law that is based on allowing owners to do as they please with no legal duties to the interests of staff, suppliers or customers, provided this is approved by the AGM.

So far as I understand it, owners are able to take capital out of the firm for their short-term advantage, even if this leaves the company with insufficient resources to invest in the future of the firm, provided the firm is not trading as insolvent. What is needed is a wholesale reform of company law, adopting the German model that places a duty on company owners to take into account the interests of staff and suppliers as well as customers. The German legal structure of staff – not necessarily trade union – representation on supervisory boards as well as on remuneration committees is long overdue.

I see no evidence that such a reformed model of company law reduces either investment or long-term profitability. It would stop some owners of companies from taking short-term actions that take unacceptable risks with the long term viability of business.

It is perfectly possible that the outcome of the two Commons committees investigating BHS, just as with tax dodging in Panama, will be that nothing illegal has taken place. So the people “who can just walk on to yachts” having taken “money out of the business that wasn’t there to be taken” will simply continue to do so, while those “who have mortgages and shop at Asda” will lose their jobs and be forced to accept reduced pensions, shedding light on why inequality is growing in the UK.