Marjorie Kelly is the rarest of authors, discussing some of the most difficult problems we face but doing so through an easily understood narrative of her own search for answers that is bound to draw in readers from a wide variety of backgrounds. Her analysis is insightful and the recommendations contained in Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution should strike a chord with most, regardless of their political persuasion. We all want a better future for our children. Kelly is pointing in the right direction to make that happen. Continue Reading →
Tag Archives | democracy
Like the Economics of Good and Evil by Tomas Sedlacek, Lynn Stout’s The Shareholder Value Myth: How Putting Shareholders First Harms Investors, Corporations, and the Public is an exploration into the history and sociology of knowledge. While Sedlacek ambitiously tackles several myths at the core of economics, Stout focuses laserlike on the misconception that corporations are required to “maximize shareholder value.” Continue Reading →
BNN’s The Street is delivering an in-depth look at the growing number of shareholder uprisings. Activist investors are speaking out out at CP Rail, Yahoo, Astral Media and elsewhere. And, they’re not just taking on management. They’re winning their battles too. Click here for more. Continue Reading →
Shareholder Democracies?: Corporate Governance in Britain and Ireland before 1850 addresses a central issue. Current governance structures often allow managers to pursue their own interests. According to some, a dissemblance of democracy has led to “elitism and self-interest in the boardroom,” resulting in Continue Reading →
Ben Christopher wrote a great profile of Mark Latham, highlighting some of his ideas and efforts around the voter media concept. (A Math Wiz’s Idea to Revive Local Journalism, The Tyee, 1/27/2012) Continue Reading →
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 Continue Reading →
First, we learned that Daniel Rudewicz, a USPX member, filed a proposal at KSW, a Long Island City, N.Y.-based company with a $19.7 million market capitalization that furnishes and installs heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems and process piping systems. Continue Reading →
Making Sense of Dodd-Frank reports that Western Union (WU) submitted a no-action letter to the SEC seeking exclusion of Norges Bank’s proposal pursuant to Rule 14a-8(i)(9) because the proposal directly conflicts with a proposal to be Continue Reading →
Although corporations are creatures of state law and corporate elections are governed by state law, statements soliciting proxies for publicly traded securities are governed as to form and content by the federal securities laws, most importantly by various rules promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Last year, the SEC used its authority under Dodd-Frank to promulgate Rule 14a-11 requiring public companies to include in their proxy statements director nominations proposed by Continue Reading →
More than 40 investors joined in filing and co-filing the resolution seeking comprehensive disclosure of corporate lobbying. Among them are New York Continue Reading →
Thanks to the Supreme Court and Citizens United, the same big corporations and billionaires that destroyed our economy and caused millions of us to lose our jobs and homes, are spending obscene amounts to drown out our voices in Continue Reading →
This appears to be the first no-action request filed on a proxy access proposal this season. The company asserts that Steiner’s resolution improperly constitutes multiple proposals, is “impermissibly Continue Reading →
On the 2nd anniversary of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, two investment firms announce that they have filed shareholder resolutions at three companies, Bank of America, 3M & Target Corporation, urging them to refrain from making political donations in the future. This is the first time institutional shareholders have Continue Reading →
Daniel Rudewicz, a USPX member, reports what I would term the first win under recently implemented SEC rules that once again allow proxy access proposal to be filed. As reported earlier, Rudewicz filed a proposal at KSW, a Long Island City, N.Y.-based company with a $19.7 million market capitalization that Continue Reading →
Equilar, the leading provider of executive compensation benchmarking and research solutions, announced the release of its Pay-For-Performance Analytics suite yesterday, along with the fact that the Council of Institutional Investors (CII), whose members hold $3 trillion in assets, has signed on as the first client. According to the press release:
By combining an innovative market-based algorithm to identify peer companies with a realizable pay methodology using long Continue Reading →
Republished here with permission, Ralph Ward’s essay was included in his January 2, 2012 publication: Ralph Ward’s Boardroom INSIDER, the best quick read for director tips. In a few brief paragraph’s Ward sets out the folly of our current selection process. After reading it, I hope you will agree with me that Continue Reading →
Can corporations’ relentless focus on maximising shareholder Continue Reading →
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC), UK’s independent regulator “responsible for promoting high quality corporate governance and reporting to foster investment,” is also in charge of the Stewardship Code for institutional investors.
The FRC, 230 pension schemes, fund managers and service-providers have signed up for the Stewardship Code, including “most of the major investors in UK equities.” According to Financial News (Shareholders: Turn up to meetings!, 12/14/2011), the FRC not only warned companies Continue Reading →
Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), manager of the $550 billion Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global, has filed shareholder proposals for binding bylaw proxy access proposals at six US companies (Wells Fargo, Charles Schwab, Western Union, Staples, Pioneer Natural Resources and CME Groupas) part of its efforts to strengthen shareholder rights. According to Continue Reading →
What is Sharegate?
On its most basic level, www.sharegate.com is a social network for all players in the corporate structure, including shareholders, corporations and their investor relations representatives, institutional fund managers, and affiliates such as special interest groups, academic professionals, and Continue Reading →
I’m somewhat heartened by a recent CII announcement on access proposals:
We welcome the changes to Rule 14a-8(i)(8). We encourage Council members and other long-term shareowners to consider using this new tool in a focused and consistent manner that enhances the U.S. corporate governance model and Continue Reading →
The Media is No Friend of Corporate Directors, writes T.K. Kerstetter. That’s right, and it is time boards took action to avoid giving shareowners good reason to vote against directors or the pay packages they authorize. Kerstetter is upset because after talking to the press about the appointment of former Governor and one-time Nashville mayor Phil Continue Reading →
At the University of California-Davis, a group of student Occupy Wall Street protesters were pepper sprayed by university police for refusing to vacate the campus quad. Thanks to the widespread availability of phones with cameras, the incident was photographed and recorded by dozens of onlookers. As a result, images and videos of the pepper spraying incident have flooded the internet with millions of views.
The image is striking in several ways. First, nearly everyone watching has a camera or cell phone and is documenting the event. Second, there is a strong visual separation of the police and protesters — the police are standing, while the protesters are seated. Third, the police officer who is spraying protesters has a very casual, removed demeanor and stance. There is no Continue Reading →
The respected scholar, Lawrence Hamermesh, writes about the model proxy access proposal published by United States Proxy Exchange (USPX) and asks why an organization whose motto (”Populus Constituit,” the people decide) is so reluctant to file mandatory bylaw proposals, instead of precatory proposals. (Precatory proxy access proposals, The Institute of Delaware corporate and Business Law, 11/15/2011)
Hamermesh speculates USPX members chose the precatory route because “a mandatory bylaw proposal won’t get nearly as high a vote as a diluted, precatory proposal.” He then goes on to argue that boards of directors should “not to take even a majority vote on a precatory proposal seriously,” since “if real bullets had been at stake the stockholders themselves wouldn’t have Continue Reading →
With the House controlled by Republicans, we are not likely to see positive action to control or at least require disclosure of political spending by corporations. However, states may be jumping in to take some action.
Under a new Maryland law, which takes effect December 1, 2011, a Continue Reading →
Today, the United States Proxy Exchange (USPX) released a Model Proxy Access Proposal that can be presented to corporations for a shareowner vote under SEC Rule 14a-8 to ensure that long-term shareowners have Continue Reading →
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 submit proposals to corporations that, if adopted, would allow proxy access for those corporations’ shareowners.
A number of such proposals will be submitted for votes at 2012 annual Continue Reading →
Since 1979, adjusted for inflation, incomes of the broad middle class (solid blue line labeled “21st to 80th percentiles”) have increased about 40 percent, which comes to a sluggish 1 percent per year. During the same period, the incomes of the richest 1 percent have increased about 280 percent, or 7 percent per year. See the chart and more Continue Reading →