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Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance (September 18)

2022/ 09/ 20 by jd in Global News

ESG “is not a unitary principle or even a collection of a fixed set of particular principles. Rather, ESG encapsulates the range of risks that all corporations must carefully balance, taking into account their specific circumstances, in seeking to achieve long-term, sustainable value.” The ESG label may be new, but “corporate boards and management have long considered ESG factors and risks in setting and executing strategy…. Doing so is associated with superior financial results, and consistent with long-accepted norms as to the place of business in society.”


The Economist (April 9)

2022/ 04/ 11 by jd in Global News

“Toshiba was once synonymous with Japan’s industrial might.” Over the past decade, it “has become a byword for drama,” which has included accounting fraud and an ongoing “series of ‘slapstick’ struggles between management and shareholders.” A possible buy-out led by Bain Capital has “raised hopes among investors for some sort of resolution to the saga.” This could potentially prove a watershed moment and “be a big deal for Japan.”


Wall Street Journal (December 2)

2020/ 12/ 03 by jd in Global News

“Like much of corporate America today, the Nasdaq is virtue signaling at the expense of someone else. This is far from its reason for being, which is a marketplace to raise money while spreading the benefits of capitalism and corporate ownership. Imposing its own identity politics on some 3,300 listed companies meddles in corporate management and will harm economic growth and job creation.” [Nasdaq is seeking minimum quotas of women and minority/LGBTQ directors on corporate boards.]


Bloomberg (July 3)

2017/ 07/ 04 by jd in Global News

“Strenuous efforts by Chinese regulators to ensure market stability are having the opposite effect.” The rationale is unimportant. “Whether such efforts are meant to protect important companies, stabilize markets or avoid national embarrassment, they’re preventing China’s markets from growing up. And it’s increasingly clear that they’re unnecessary.” Furthermore, “infantilizing Chinese firms…prevents the professionalization of management and improvements in corporate governance.”


Financial Times (June 7)

2017/ 06/ 10 by jd in Global News

“Change seems inevitable. Japan’s traditional reliance on seniority-based management is crumbling fast, and there is a clear sense of alarm as Toyota, Panasonic and Sony all talk about hiring international talent with both the broader skills and mindset to survive the next wave of technological innovation.”


Washington Post (June 1)

2017/ 06/ 03 by jd in IRCWeekly

“Even as the Trump administration’s commitment to the [Paris] climate accord wavered, the Exxon vote showed that climate concerns were gaining ground in the business world.” BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street apparently cast their “shares in opposition to Exxon management.” Their success “marked an important step for groups that have been trying to force corporations to adopt greater disclosure and transparency about the financial fallout of climate change.” Ultimately, 62.3% of shares cast were against ExxonMobil management, effectively forcing “the oil giant to report on the impact of global measures designed to keep climate change to 2 degrees centigrade.”


LA Times (August 28)

2016/ 08/ 30 by jd in Global News

The U.S. is undergoing de-masculinization. “Our gender turfs were once distinct—women never grabbed a grease gun, nor men a flour sifter. But they become more intermingled with each passing year.” There are now more female drivers than male drivers. Stay-at-home dads, rather than moms, are now present in over 2 million homes. And “women are now the majority of top-performing college students headed toward jobs in middle and upper management.”


Bloomberg (May 10)

2016/ 05/ 11 by jd in Global News

Tsuyoshi Maruki, the founder of Tokyo-based Strategic Capital Inc., “stands out like a lone wolf in Japan, where societal intolerance for aggressive shareholder campaigns has spurred a breed of friendly activists.” When persuasion fails, Maruki “turns to techniques that include banding with other investors to oust management and filing lawsuits to overhaul corporate practices in order to boost returns for his 9.7 billion yen ($90 million) fund.” Committed to improving corporate governance in Japan, Maruki is convinced his aggressive stance works.


Wall Street Journal (March 23)

2016/ 03/ 25 by jd in Global News

“A majority of the board has been in place for at least 10 years” at nearly a quarter of the largest companies in America. This is prompting investor concerns. “Long-tenured directors can offer companies institutional memory and deep insight into company operations across a variety of economic and competitive environments…. Yet some investors worry that longtime board members may grow too close to the companies and management teams they are supposed to oversee, and lack the critical eye and fresh ideas that newer directors likely bring.”


New York Times (July 29)

2014/ 07/ 28 by jd in Global News

“Japanese women are not staying away from work because they can’t get ahead; only one in 10 working women say they want to be promoted to management because it would be hard to juggle housework with the long working hours associated with management.” This makes Prime Minister Abe’s task more challenging. First, he needs to convince women “that work, in and of itself, is a good thing.”


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