“The co-operative and mutualist movement” have any legitimacy to be ” shareholders of reference “

Forum. These last few days, several critical voices have pointed out, in the press, businesses mutuals and co-operatives, protesting at the possible recovery of the reinsurance company SCOR by the mutualist group Covea (MMA, MAAF and GMF).

Let us first recall that, for a long time, companies mutualists are stable shareholders, and loyal to the SCOR. If today we have a French reinsurer global dimension, it is well with the world with a mutual fund, which for the past thirty years has behaved as a shareholder of the long-term.

It would be unbearable to let increment that the structures co-operatives and mutuals are businesses “franchouillardes” refractory to any kind of openness to the world. The mutual sector is a significant contributor to the economy of our country : it represents 10 % of the gross domestic product and nearly 13 % of private-sector jobs.

Beyond the items specific to the operation, some justify their rejection of the legitimacy of the intervention of cooperative enterprises and mutuals as reference shareholders in the name of assumptions that deserve a rational critique.

“Property of the dead hand ”

Thus, it is argued that the structures co-operatives and mutuals, by being faithful to their rules of operation, namely a distribution limited annual results leading to their accumulation in reserves impartageables, would be a place of accumulation of ” property endowment “. With this expression, we find the moral judgment peculiar to the revolutionary period against the property of the clergy.

We do not see how the investment in the capital of a large reinsurance company would be a speculative project or immoral that would be defended to mutuals or cooperatives

Such criticism is not without reminding us of that fact by the international monetary Fund (IMF) in 2007, accusing the banks and cooperatives.

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