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Monday, February 6, 2012

Attacking Proxy Advisors

  Since the passage of Dodd-Frank, in the summer of 2010, there has been a constant drumbeat from representatives of the corporate community, particularly the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, regarding the need for an increased level of regulatory oversight focused on proxy advisory firms.  … February 6, 2012 | proxy , Capture , SEC , institutional investors , shareholder activism
Thursday, February 2, 2012

Jack Bogle & Paul Volcker

A great discussion between Jack Bogle and Paul Volcker, moderated by Kathleen Hays at the John Bogle Legacy Forum on Tuesday in New York.  They discussed long-term investing, transaction tax, securities markets, opposition to the Volcker Rule at Davos, liquidity, and more.  Boble, said, "I have an idea that… February 2, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012

Are corporations the best model -- or just the best we have?

In a recent article, Seven ways to fix the system's flaws, Martin Wolf wrote, "The corporation is the best institution we know of for running large, complex and dynamic businesses."  I agree it is the best option we have so far.  That doesn't mean, however that we shouldn't make… January 26, 2012 | capitalism , capitalism , self-regulation
Thursday, January 26, 2012

Private Equity

Private equity is another Wall Street process by which a few people make an enormous amount of money at public cost.  January 26, 2012 | government subsidies , Wall Street , Risk , pension guaranty , bailout
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Davos report: The Future of Capitalism

To Serve Society Better, Capitalism Needs a Redesign Adrian Monck, Managing Director, Head of Communications: +41 (0)79 817 0315; While how well the business community is meeting its social responsibilities is a matter of debate, efforts are needed to ensure that capitalism is fair and better serves society… January 25, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012

The Six Primary Symptoms of Government Capture

American corporations today are like the great European monarchies of yore: They have the power to control the rules under which they function and to direct the allocation of public resources. This is not a prediction of what’s to come; this is a simple statement of the present state… January 23, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012

Let Us Buy Elections

  Mark Magee's Citizen United cartoon from 2009.  Strikes a chord in this election year... January 19, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012

Citizens United opposition at the local level

Two news items in the Portland Press Herald, our local newspaper in southern Maine.  The Portland City Council has joined the ranks of other local governments to condemn "corporate personhood" and encourage our congressional delegates to support a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision.  It's interesting to… January 19, 2012
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ignoring corporate governance is not an option for managers

Baruch Lev is a world class thinker on accountancy and corporate operational matters.  I have long admired his work and am very much taken with his new book.  Writing from the view of corporate management, he recognizes the legitimacy of corporate governance efforts and believes in the essential role… January 18, 2012
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Democracy works when citizens are involved

Our system of government requires citizen involvement in order to work and unfortunately, this is where things have broken down. As citizens – and as owners or consumers, voters, constituents, etc. – we have ignored our responsibilities. We’ve left it to others to “represent” us and in doing that… January 10, 2012
Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Revolving Door between Congress and K Street

A great chart came out late last year showing retired members of Congress and their new jobs on K Street (lobbying and government affairs).  The accompanying article, "Former members of Congress always welcome on K Street," reports that one lobbying firm, Advantage Associates International, " itself as a collaboration… January 4, 2012
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Corporate Governance 2011 -- Year End Reflections

1. The Elephant in the Living Room. The single best indicator of the state of corporate governance - a system of accountable power – is the capacity of senior management to increase their own compensation that has been going on for two decades. The metaphor of the elephant in… January 3, 2012 | accountability , corporate governance , CEO Pay , boards of directors , Dodd-Frank , lobbying , fiduciary duty
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