Tag Archives | ethics

Insider Trading: Two Perspectives

Contrasting opinions from Marty Robins, attorney and adjunct law professor at Northwestern University School of Law and DePaul University College of Law, as well as a frequent commentator on Corpgov.net. As a retail investor, I’m told that I should be happy about the Rajaratnam conviction on various charges related to insider trading activity. The prosecutor […]

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Is The Market Rigged?… Yes, According to World Survey

47% of respondents in a survey of 400 investors from across the world found one-on-one meetings with companies regularly lead to price sensitive information being divulged, according to the Rotterdam School of Management. Surveys like this, along with the Rajaratnam trial, the saga over David Sokol’s Lubrizoil trades and a overwhelming sense the market is […]

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The Psychology of Cheating

Paradoxically, it’s often an obsession with fairness that leads people to begin cutting corners in the first place. “Cheating is especially easy to justify when you frame situations to cast yourself as a victim of some kind of unfairness,” said Dr. Anjan Chatterjee, a neurologist at the University of Pennsylvania who has studied the use […]

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The Board’s Role in Safeguarding Reputation

There is a good reason why Warren Buffett wrote in a recent memo to Berkshire Hathaway managers, The priority is that all of us continue to zealously guard Berkshire’s reputation. We can afford to lose money – even a lot of money. But we can’t afford to lose reputation – even a shred of reputation. […]

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Take Action: Sixty Years of ShareOwner Rights at Risk

Your right to file a proxy without being hauled into court or having your proposal ignored is at risk.  I urge readers to raise the profile of the SEC’s failure to act by sending e-mails to the Office of Chief Counsel at [email protected] and the Chairman at [email protected] I also recommend you fill out the complaint form at https://tts.sec.gov/oiea/QuestionsAndComments.html, since […]

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California to Allow Corporations to Blend Mission and Profit

A California bill, SB 201, authored by state senator Mark DeSaulnier, proposes a new corporate form that blends money and mission. The idea is to allow social enterprises, which are often organized as either non-profits or for-profit/non-profit hybrids, to access capital from mainstream investors. As a Flexible Purpose Corporation (Flexible Corp.), a company could make […]

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Transocean: Now, the Rest of the Story

I get hundreds of e-mails every day and often delete before even glancing if I am especially busy. Fortunately, Timothy Smith of Walden Asset Management also sent out an e-mail on a post by Theo Francis, of footnoted*, that had already hit my trash. We’ve all heard about Transocean’s bonuses for “the best year in […]

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Buffett Needs to Tighten Up

What is galling about Buffett’s stance is not the recitation of facts, but the way they were spun to make Sokol’s actions look benign. “Dave’s purchases were made before he had discussed Lubrizol with me and with no knowledge of how I might react to his idea,” he writes. “In addition, of course, he did […]

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CalPERS Airs Dirty Laundry: Reforms Promise New Day

Could CalPERS have avoided the current corruption scandal if, like CalSTRS, it had adopted a staff recommendation in 2007 requiring private equity firms to disclose fees paid to “placement agents” like Alfred Villalobos? A member of a small group that formed lasting relationships while serving with Villalobos on the CalPERS board during the 1990s, Kurato […]

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SHARE to Develop Best Practices on Human Rights

The Shareholder Association for Research & Education (SHARE) is launching a two-year project aimed at developing tools to assist investors in ensuring their pension investments uphold the highest standards of human and labour rights. The Investing in Decent Work project will focus the challenges investors face in identifying and addressing issues related to the use […]

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Are High Paid CEO$ Looking for Acceptance?

People who feel more secure in receiving love and acceptance from others place less monetary value on their possessions, according to new research from Edward Lemay, assistant professor of psychology at UNH, and colleagues at Yale University. Lemay and his colleagues found that people who had heightened feelings of interpersonal security — a sense of […]

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The Appearance of Legitimacy: Board Elections

Robert A. G. Monks is asking some fundamental questions on his blog and, at least so far, is responding to comments. That’s a rare phenomenon in the blogosphere. I urge readers to get involved in this dialogue (The Appearance of Reality: Shareholders & Ownership): The process by which directors are chosen is described as an […]

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CalPERS & the Press

Self dealing. Conflicts of interest. Actions that are quite possibly criminal. These are the kinds of malfeasance a lawyer hired by the California Public Employee Retirement System has documented in a review that sheds new light on the bribery scandal that has rocked CalPERS. Some of the details have previously been reported by The Bee […]

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Ethics Under Fire at SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission took a beating two years ago for failing to detect Bernard L. Madoff’s multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme during the decades that he ran it. Now, its chairwoman is coming under Congressional fire for hiring as the S.E.C.’s general counsel someone with a Madoff financial interest — David M. Becker, who participated […]

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Star Power Economy May Lead U.S. to Ruin

You want to win elections, you bang on the jailable class. You build prisons and fill them with people for selling dime bags and stealing CD players. But for stealing a billion dollars? For fraud that puts a million people into foreclosure? Pass…  make them pay a fine instead. But don’t make them pay it […]

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Video Friday: How to expose the corrupt

As a director of the World Bank in Nairobi, Peter Eigen saw firsthand how devastating corruption can be. Some of the world’s most baffling social problems, says Eigen, can be traced to systematic, pervasive government corruption, hand-in-glove with global companies. At TEDxBerlin, Eigen describes the thrilling counter-attack led by his organization Transparency International. via Simoleon […]

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CalPERS Expands Agent Disclosures

CalPERS expands agent disclosure policy – Sacramento Business, Housing Market News | Sacramento Bee, 11/18/2010. All contractors of $10,000 or higher will now be required to disclose whether they’re using agents, or middlemen, to secure pension fund business.

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Harrington Asks Banks to Stem Illicit Transactions

Harrington Investments, Inc. (HII), a socially responsible investment advisory firm filed shareholder resolutions at Citigroup, Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase, calling for the adoption of principles to stem illicit financial transactions which is the result of government corruption and bribery, tax evasion, money laundering, illegal arms deals and the movement of money by […]

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CalPERS Boosts Transparency: Will Post Travel Expense Claims

Taking another step to increase transparency, the CalPERS Board has approved publishing on the CalPERS website all travel expense claims and statements of economic interests submitted by Board Members and key staff personnel. The travel information will be posted online within one month of the date of reimbursement. The statements of economic interest – known […]

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Incumbent Wins CalPERS Race: But…

The following is a table with the unofficial results of the most recent CalPERS election. No real surprise; with an incredibly low turnout, the incumbent won by a large margin. George Diehr 21,988 votes Inderjit Kallirai 6,360 votes Board candidate uses CalPERS address, phone writes Ed Mendel in his post to CalPensions. CalPERS board member running […]

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Move Ethics from Classroom

In her article Big Business Matters (SSI Review, Fall 2010) Judith Samuelson argues global businesses are the most capable agents to solve our problems but they need a makeover: First, we must revisit our narrative about the purpose of the business corporation. “Maximizing profits” may be an accepted mantra on Wall Street, but it is […]

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CalPERS Gets Hotline

CalPERS announced two significant reforms designed to restore confidence in CalPERS and ethical conduct – the establishment of a Senior Level Enterprise Risk Management Office and  the launch of a new Ethics Helpline to identify fraud and waste. The CalPERS Board of Administration approved the new Office of Enterprise Risk Management to identify risks in […]

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In Search of the Good Corporate Citizen

Winner of a 2010 Telly Award as an outstanding video production and the winner of a 2010 WorldFest-Houston Award, this outstanding video takes viewers beyond the pressures involved in hitting the numbers to show how the best business leaders steer companies through tough ethical challenges. The show weaves together expert panel discussions, personal accounts from […]

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A Primer for Boards

Cornelis A. de Kluyver, an academic and practitioner with global experience, has written A Primer on Corporate Governance published by Business Expert Press. While not nearly as extensive as recent textbooks by Bob Tricker or Monks and Minow, this is a quick read that provides most of the basics for future directors and those who […]

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CalPERS muzzles critics: Ballot rules protect board, keep others in the dark

“Self-serving” is what one critic called the vote last week to sharply limit what candidates for the California Public Employees Retirement System board can include in their ballot statements. Certainly, “self-serving” is one word that characterizes that vote. “Anti-democratic,” “chilling” and “wrong” are among the others. In a decision sweeping in its arrogance and disregard […]

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