My Notes from Ceres Conference 2013

Let’s just label these notes as “for entertainment purposes only.” Attending the conference was a real pleasure. Unfortunately, I was too busy catching up with people to take more than impressionistic notes at a few of the discussions. Prepare to be frightened about global climate change and our irresponsibly slow pace addressing the catastrophic consequences we are already beginning to see all around us. Save April 30 and May 1 for Ceres Conference 2014 in Boston. Continue Reading →

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Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Responds to My Voting Advice

Guest Post from Douglas K. Chia, Assistant General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Johnson & Johnson and formerly named a Rising Star of Corporate Governance by the Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership. I wish a representative of every company would send such a thoughtful response to my voting advice. I’ve placed my response in italics.

Here are some points of clarification on your recent post, “How I Voted: Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) – Proxy Score – 76%” (April 23, 2013):

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How I Voted: Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) – Proxy Score 38

Chipotle Mexican Grill ($CMG) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/17/2013. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of three funds when I checked on 5/13/2013.  I voted with management 38% of the time.  View Proxy Statement. Warning: Be sure to vote each item on the proxy. Any items left blank are voted in favor of management’s recommendations. (See Broken Windows & Proxy Vote Rigging – Both Invite More Serious Crime) Continue Reading →

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Maximizing Shareholder Value: The Workaround from Bartley J. Madden

One of my favorite independent thinkers is Lynn Stout.  Last year I reviewed her excellent book, The Shareholder Value Myth: How Putting Shareholders First Harms Investors, Corporations, and the Public, which makes the point that “U.S. corporate law does not, and never has, required directors of public corporations to maximize shareholder value.” I ended with the following:

I’d like to hear more from Stout on what should be done to incorporate prosocial needs into corporate governance. Don’t tell me self-selecting directors are blessed with a divine right to rule. Continue Reading →

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How I Voted: ITC Holdings Corp. (ITC) – Proxy Score 50%

ITC Holdings Corp. ($ITC) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/15/2013. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of two funds when I checked on 5/9/2013.  I voted with management 50% of the time.  View Proxy Statement. Warning: Be sure to vote each item on the proxy. Any items left blank are voted in favor of management’s recommendations. (See Broken Windows & Proxy Vote Rigging – Both Invite More Serious Crime) Continue Reading →

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For Mother's Day, Tell McDonald's (MCD) to Stop Predatory Marketing to Kids

When it comes to fast-food marketing to children, McDonald’s ($MCD) is one of the worst offenders.  For decades, the fast food giant has profited richly at a staggering cost to our children’s health.

Corporate Accountability International‘s latest initiative is rallying moms across the country to call on McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson to stop the corporation’s predatory marketing to kids. Join the action! Post this image today on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest, Instagram…wherever you hang out online. Don’t forget the hashtag #MomsNotLovinIt. Continue Reading →

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How I Voted: Morningstar (MORN) – Proxy Score 100%

Morningstar (MORN) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/14/2013. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of four funds when I checked on 5/9/2013.  I voted with management 100% of the time.  View Proxy Statement. Warning: Be sure to vote each item on the proxy. Any items left blank are voted in favor of management’s recommendations. (See Broken Windows & Proxy Vote Rigging – Both Invite More Serious Crime) Continue Reading →

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How I Voted: Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI) – Proxy Score 25%

Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. ($SNI) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/14/2013. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of four funds when I checked on 5/9/2013.  I voted with management 25% of the time.  View Proxy Statement (no hyperlinked index… no index at all). Warning: Be sure to vote each item on the proxy. Any items left blank are voted in favor of management’s recommendations. (See Broken Windows & Proxy Vote Rigging – Both Invite More Serious Crime) Continue Reading →

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How I Voted: 3M Co (MMM) – Proxy Score 47%

3M Co ($MMM) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/14/2013. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of four funds when I checked on 5/6/2013.  I voted with management 47% of the time.  View Proxy Statement. Warning: Be sure to vote each item on the proxy. Any items left blank are voted in favor of management’s recommendations. (See Broken Windows & Proxy Vote Rigging – Both Invite More Serious Crime) Continue Reading →

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Beyond Growth: Do Corporations Have Any Responsibility to Ensure Growth Helps the Majority?

Martin Hart-Landsberg

The following guest post is from Martin Hart-Landsberg, PhD who blogs at Reports from the Economic Front. I’m republishing his post (I added the subtitle to his Beyond Growth) because I believe those concerned with corporate governance need to look at corporations in context. Are corporations helping society or adding to its burdens?

Cross-posted at Reports from the Economic Front.

While newspapers give a lot of ink to arguments about whether reducing the budget deficit will boost or reduce growth, they seem to have little interest in the related issue of whether economic growth really benefits the great majority. Continue Reading →

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How I Voted: Marriott International Inc (MAR) – Proxy Score 93%

Marriott International Inc ($MAR) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 5/10/2013. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of two funds when I checked on 5/3/2013.  I voted with management 93% of the time.  View Proxy Statement. Warning: Be sure to vote each item on the proxy. Any items left blank are voted in favor of management’s recommendations. (See Broken Windows & Proxy Vote Rigging – Both Invite More Serious Crime) Continue Reading →

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