American values were recognized as at risk in 1932 when Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means argued that with dispersed shareholders, ownership has been separated from their control. (The Modern Corporation and Private Property) Ironically, concentration of equities under the umbrella of three or four indexed funds presents an opportunity to end that divide and make companies better reflect American values by being more accountable to their beneficial owners. Accomplishing that goal depends on transparent governance, such as proxy voting, and fostering real dialogue on the issues faced by corporations and investors. As I have argued, real-time disclosure of proxy votes could drive these huge funds to compete with each other based on not only profits and costs but their governance efforts, as reflected in proxy voting records. Continue Reading →
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2018 CPA-Zicklin Index shows gradual improvement. Public corporations embracing disclosure and accountability of their political spending hold fast despite countervailing pressures from Washington. Continue Reading →
Robert A.G. Monks, concerned with shameful corporate behavior today blogged When a Child Rules the Parent: The Problem of Corporate Domicile in a Global World.
Corporations are creatures of the state but the social contracts that made them attractive in serving human interests are breaking down…
Either we need to reign corporate operations in within a state and country or laws must transcend those borders to oversee a corporations across the globe. Which will it be?