Thursday, June 24, 2010

State of Corporate Governance

Somehow I doubt a bill that starts out tepid and gets watered-down from there will provide anything like the response necessary to prevent, or even delay, the next crash. I sez that Glass Steagall warded off bubbles for decades, and I think it ought to be a good place to start reigning in bankster power. Another place to learn a lesson might be Canada's economy, which survived the bubble well.

Robert A. G. Monks (longtime shareholder activist, Corporate Governance sage, and Reagan appointee), thinks the model of self regulating business is a failure and he calls the Dodd/Frank efforts to inject accountability "pathetic".

I still think that the best purpose of corporate governance is to protect profit for investors from management, since I believe the tycoon-types are morally insane (the modern term is psychopathic personality). It did not escape my notice, for instance, that Mr. Monks in the above video said...

"The failure was largely attributable to the unaccountability of the Chief Executive Officers who ran companies for their own benefit, and for the benefit of other top officials, without any conscience about the public consequence or the long-term consequence of their actions."

I think that many CEOs are, in point of fact, morally insane. This means they are literally incapable of acting from conscience. This means their conscience and their desires are one and the same thing. This means that everything justifies satisfying a desire.

Proper governance ties CEO wealth to corporate success so that society can follow a psychopath to economic prosperity. It is a gamble whose risk should now be evident to all, namely that the morally insane are hoarders when it comes to Power, and experts at corruption.

CEOs need to be made to believe again that their Power does not come at our expense, but at our profit.

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Foot Quotes

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

Charles Darwin