Tag Archives | financial crisis

L'Apel: Democratic Capitalism at Risk

Recently, ICGN held their annual conference in Paris. From the Twitter feed, it appears I missed a good one. (see ICGN Via Twitter) I’ve already mentioned Jon Lukomnik’s appeal to look again at the idea that shareowners’ interests and executives’ can be aligned through compensation strategies. I think one origin of our errors was revising the […]

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Labor Day: The Scariest Jobs Chart Ever

What the chart (made by Calculated Risk) shows is the trajectory of job losses and gains during the great recession, compared to previous recessions. So as you can see, the depth of the decline was much worse than any other recession, and what’s more, the pace of the recovery is much weaker than in previous […]

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Parasitic Capitalism

The US can print the same money it borrows in. It doesn’t ever have to default as long as it retains this privilege. But its creditors now know that the US can’t be trusted. This is why America’s trusted friend and car pool partner in space, Vladimir Putin, has said Americans, “Are living like parasites […]

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Reframing Corporate Social Responsibility

Reframing Corporate Social Responsibility: Lessons from the Global Financial Crisis, edited by William Sun, Jim Stewart, and David Pollard, is volume 1 in an important new series: Critical Studies on Corporate Responsibility, Governance and Sustainability. Disclosure: I’m on the Editorial Advisory and Review Board of the series at the request of William Sun, who I’ve […]

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Wall Street: From Mortgages to Taxes

The Street is tailoring government bonds to fit the winning mortgage market strategy, right down to selling shorts to investors who are gambling right now that governments won’t be able to meet both their budgets and pay their loans off, given the crippling economy that still hasn’t recovered from the subprime mortgage crash. The idea […]

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How to Profit from the Coming Debt Default

As my stocks tumble amidst growing uncertainty over whether or not to raise the debt ceiling, I couldn’t help but wonder, how could I profit from those who seem bent on destroying the US economy? House Democrats are circulating a resolution accusing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) of having a conflict of interest in […]

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Median CEO Pay Up Again: My Apologies

Do I need to apologize? I’ve been using USPX guidelines to vote down pay packages at large companies over the $9 million 2010 median reported by Equilar earlier this year. Now, they’ve revised their pay figures. Final data show median pay for top executives at 200 big companies last year was $10.8 million, up 23% […]

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CalSTRS Advance Board Diversity

CalSTRS withdrew all eight of its board diversity shareholder proposals filed during the 2011 proxy season after successfully engaging companies to consider diversity in director searches. In recent years, the issues of board of director leadership and oversight roles have taken on increased significance to long-term investors, such as CalSTRS. Today’s economic challenges highlight the […]

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Economics of Good & Evil

Economics of Good and Evil: The Secret Foundations of a Science

Economics of Good and Evil: The Quest for Economic Meaning from Gilgamesh to Wall Street, by Thomas Sedlacek, explores the path dependency of modern Western economics through mythology, religion and fables. I wish the book had been published and influential forty-five years ago when I was a freshman economics major. When I was an undergraduate student […]

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ETF's: Danger or Positive

The factors that brought about the tech bubble, the collateralized debt obligations crash and the rest are being replicated with ETFs: floods of cash and tidal surges of ingenuity in the markets advancing faster than the regulators’ event horizon. via Fair exchanges?, Inside Investor Relations, 6/29/2011 ‘ETFs, indexes and ‘closet indexers’ among mutual funds already […]

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Enthusiasm for Free Market Drops

When GlobeScan began tracking views in 2002, four in five Americans (80%) saw the free market as the best economic system for the future–the highest level of support among tracking countries. Support started to fall away in the following years and recovered slightly after the financial crisis in 2007/8, but has plummeted since 2009, falling […]

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Deregulation of Derivatives Caused the Crisis

Lynn A. Stout argues the credit crisis was not due primarily to changes in the markets, it was due to changes in the law, specifically the Commodities Futures Modernization Act (CFMA) of 2000’s sudden and wholesale removal of centuries-old legal constraints on speculative trading in over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives. Derivative contracts are probabilistic bets on future […]

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Governance After the Financial Crisis

Corporate Governance in the Wake of the Financial Crisis: Selected International Views is a publication of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). It contains commentary and analysis by leading experts from around the world, including the OECD, World Bank, ICGN, IOSCO, The Corporate Library, PRI and others with a forward by Mervyn […]

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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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UK Revolt Against Wealthy Tax Cheats

Imagine a parallel universe where the Great Crash of 2008 was followed by a Tea Party of a very different kind. Enraged citizens gather in every city, week after week—to demand the government finally regulate the behavior of corporations and the superrich, and force them to start paying taxes. The protesters shut down the shops […]

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Wall Street Pay Breaks Record, Thanks to Taxpayers

Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley benefited from hundreds of billions from TAARP. Higher revenues amplified Wall Street’s bottom lines. Combined pay at financial firms hit an all-time high last year and the percentage of revenue that went into employees’ pockets climbed from 31.1% in 2009 to 32.5% last year. As […]

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The Financial Panic & Financial Regulatory Reform

The Financial Panic of 2008 and Financial Regulatory Reform — The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, Posted by Randall D. Guynn, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, on Saturday November 20, 2010, provides a good overview of the crisis and response. The US and the rest of the world experienced a […]

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The Constitution in the Financial Crisis

The Stanford Constitutional Law Center’s fall conference addressed The Constitution in the Financial Crisis. The government response to the financial crisis raises a number of “constitutional” questions in a broad sense—basic questions about how the government is structured, what its role is, and how its decisionmaking power is allocated between branches and distributed over time. […]

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Capital Offense

Forty years ago, when I was a banker, we made our money by paying depositors enough interest to keep them slightly ahead of inflation and by making loans to credit-worthy customers for mortgages and automobiles. The spread was just a few points and most of the work was done by hand, so the process was […]

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The Future of Financial Regulation: Dodd-Frank and Beyond

On November 1, 2010, I attended an event sponsored by the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Paul Brest Hall, Stanford University. I’ve noted a few times that students don’t seem to be taking advantage of Rock Center events. This time the hall was comfortably crowded. Background: Enacted in July 2010, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street […]

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Financial Sustainability: Restoring Market Stability, Corporate Value & Public Trust (ICGN Mid-Year 2010)

Disclaimer: Given Dodd-Frank, proxy plumbing and all those comments I want to provide the SEC, the report below doesn’t do the ICGN Mid-Year Conference justice.  I wrote this up more than a week later with poor notes and memory. Comments, corrections and substitute photos are solicited. Sharing Perspectives Across the Atlantic. Phil Angelides, Lord McFall […]

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Video Friday

Meredith Whitney, CEO of Meredith Whitney Advisory Group LLC. In 2007, she was the first financial analyst to predict major losses for Citigroup, one of the nation’s largest financial services companies. Program from Sunday, September 5, 2010. Q&A CSpan. Hat-tip to The Big Picture. The United States of Inequality: Introducing the Great Divergence by Timothy […]

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You Have to Be Asleep to Believe It

The crisis of middle-class America (FT, 7/30/10) offers a couple of stirring portraits in chronicling the decline of the American dream. Most Americans have been treading water for more than a generation. Over the same period the incomes of the top 1% have tripled. In the last expansion, which started in January 2002 and ended […]

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New Resources: Sustainability Quotes, Crisis Timeline, Cal Corp Law & Proxy Access Avoidance

Quotes – The Business Case for Sustainability & CSR Reporting: Selected Quotes from the Business Community July 2010. Tim Smith of Walden Asset Management, offered up  a helpful resource providing a selected set of quotes from CEO’s and company CSR reports on the business case for Sustainability and CSR reporting highlighting how they contribute to […]

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