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End Corporate Demockary

Corporations determine far more than any other institution the air we breathe, the quality of the water we drink, even where we live. Yet they are not accountable to anyone. Those words were on the 1991 cover of Power and Accountability: Restoring the Balances of Power Between Corporations and Society by Robert A.G. Monks and […]

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The Shareholder Activist

TheShareholderActivist.com™ is a new source for information and advice to facilitate responsible shareholder activism. The site includes tools, tactics, and techniques to help retail investors fully exercise their rights in publicly traded (more…)

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Bill Moyers on the Patriot's Dream

Bill Moyers has been a long-time hero for me, right up there with Bob Monks and Bob Tricker. In an address on the 40th anniversary celebration of Public Citizen, Moyers had some choice words. Below are a few snippets: Our politicians are little more than money launderers in the trafficking of power and policy – fewer […]

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Two Opportunities to Shape the Future

First, the IRRC Deadline of November 18 for Research Entries approaches. This is your chance to change the predominant paradigm of Modern Portfolio Theory. Second, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) extended the comment period on their 2012 proxy voting policies until November 7th.  Institutional investors, individual investors, corporate issuers, and governance market participants are invited to provide feedback on ISS’ […]

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Proxy Access for the 99% – Open for USPX Member Comment

The time has come for shareowners to be allowed to include their own nominees for corporate boards in the proxy materials their corporations send out every year—so-called “ballot” or “proxy access.” The current system—that only allows shareowners to vote for candidates nominated by the current board—is absurd. The SEC has finally reaffirmed shareowners’ right to […]

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Proxy Access: Will the 99% Reach Consensus?

Tuesday’s post, Proxy Access for the 99%, is drawing controversy among USPX members, with about 30 comments in the first couple of days. Will we reach consensus or will shareowners simply end up taking elements of the model proposal for their own use? So far, and we are only two days in, the $2,000 threshold […]

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Support Grows for Transparency in Corporate Political Spending

A group of 43 House Democrats is urged the SEC to require public companies to disclose their political contributions. The Council of Institutional Investors also sent a comment letter on a petition (File Number 4-637) filed by prominent law professors. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D., N.Y.) and 42 other House colleague argue the high court’s ruling in the […]

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ISS Solicits Comments on 2012 Proxy Voting Policies

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) opened its comment period for their 2012 proxy voting policies.  Institutional investors, corporate issuers, and governance market participants are invited to provide feedback on ISS’ policy updates until October 31.  According to Martha Carter, ISS’ Head of Global Research, ISS firmly believes that incorporating multiple views on corporate governance issues is critical for effective policy formulation. The […]

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Occupy Suburbia: 99% @ Rte 99

I live in Elk Grove, California, a suburban enclave of Sacramento… if not middle America, at least middle California. Its a town where most kids are driven to school and soccer in minivans or SUVs. Most are too busy with their daily lives and trying to hold on to underwater mortgages to join ‘occupy’ movements […]

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Blanks Votes: Australia & US

It is great to see Manifest, the proxy voting agency, raising the issue of management voting proxy items left blank by shareowners. In the majority of markets with developed shareholder voting procedures, for each proposal, the shareholder has three choices; to vote for, against or abstain. Alternatively, shareholders can actively elect for the chairman to […]

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Shareholder Democracy Summit Coming to Toronto: Blank Vote Issue

The Canadian Society of Corporate Secretaries announces the Shareholder Democracy Summit ─ a Canadian first. CSCS has invited key stakeholders to gather this coming fall on October 24 and 25 in Toronto for an important national summit on shareholder democracy. CSCS President Lynn Beauregard announced today that invitations to register for the Shareholder Democracy Summit […]

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Make Auditors Work for ShareOwners: Take Action

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) published a concept release that asks for public input on how to get auditors to become more independent, more objective, and more skeptical – and especially whether a mandatory rotation system for audit firms would achieve that objective. While mandatory rotation has been considered and dismissed in the […]

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Don't Miss Chance to Shape ISS Policy

Many press reports attribute 20% of voting power at some companies to recommendations made by ISS. That makes them sound like one of the most powerful entities in the world. However, much of their “power” is based on their annual survey, which helps ISS shape its recommendations to meet the voting preferences of its customers. […]

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