Contracts with artificial persons aren't contracts
Not sure about the legal theory here, but that's certainly the practice. Avedon:
I think it's already been established that contracts with corporations aren't real contracts. Corporations offer me contracts all the time that say that I am obliged to X and they will do Y, and then all of a sudden I get something in the mail varying my contract to say that they can change their mind at any time, but I still have to do whatever it was I contracted for. When your credit card company sent you something you couldn't read in teeny-tiny print saying they've decided they are no longer just charging interest on what you owe them, but on what you used to owe them before you started paying them back, you didn't get to send them your own tiny and incomprehensible update informing them that your terms had also changed, did you? And when Enron and airlines simply didn't bother to live up to their side of pension agreements and simply admitted they hadn't kept contracted-for pension funds paid up, the courts didn't say, "You had contracts, you can't just break them," they said, "Oh, you want to stiff your employees? Sure!" So, tell me, what makes Wall Street bonuses so special? (via).
Too bad there's no equivalent of "produce the note" for things like credit cards. Or maybe there is?