Third Point and TXCO. Jana Partners and Houston Exploration. Nanes Delorme and Vaalco. Is the dissident shareholder a corporate raider, destroying a normally strong company during a weak moment for a quick buck or a shareholder activist, attacking management that has become too complacent or spending wildly like the money's burning a hole in their pocket? "Wall Street" and "Other People's Money" are probably the two best movies about dissident shareholders, rolling into a company to dismantle it. But Gordon Gecko is the villain of his piece, whereas Larry is a reluctant hero. And both show why such firms can be harmful or useful to the economy. But when is it time for a dissident shareholder to step in and attack? Are companies obliged to never have a bad period, and if they are, how long should that period last? Should they strike at the first sign of weakness, or only once it's evidence that management is operating far from reality. And yet it can be argued that in the past 50 years, the corporate board room has become an increasingly insulated culture, with management and board members removing themselves from the needs of the stockholder as they got larger and turned into economic behemoths. Is being the CEO of megacorporation a license to not be beholden to one's shareholders? Is the energy business helped or hurt by the corporate raider, who can on one hand strike fear into the hearts of earnest management who fear someone who can destroy what they worked hard to create, but can also light a fire under bad management that is running a company like their own personal playset instead of a vehicle where the wealth is meant to be spread. Perhaps a corporate raider wouldn't have been such a bad thing if they had set their sights on Enron early on. –Stephen Payne, Editor, Oil and Gas Investor This Week; spayne@hartenergy.com