The Wall Street Journal has a news article about Ralph Nader's investment in Cisco, which it says at one point amounted to $1 million worth of his $3 million portfolio. I kind of like the idea that Mr. Nader, for all his criticism of corporate America, has chosen to invest at least this portion of his personal money not in Treasury bills or municipal bonds or in gold but in an American business.
For all Mr. Nader's advocacy of bigger government and more regulation, when it comes to his own money, or at least this chunk of it, he's chosen to park it with a corporation rather than with politicians. The article is about how he isn't particularly satisfied with how the investment has worked out, but even so, it's an interesting decision.
Note, too, that Mr. Nader isn't calling on Cisco's management to pay its workers more, or to hire more of them, or lay more of them off, but rather to return cash to shareholders. Of the range of options that shareholder activists might call for, this one isn't particularly radical.
Finally, there are probably plenty of other Cisco shareholders out there who might have ideas about what the company should do to create more value for shareholders. Mr. Nader gets more attention, not because of the size of his ownership stake, but just because of his celebrity.