May 30 2008

The Economist looks at the corporate governance scene in Japan: “Corporate governance is weak. Companies look to the stockmarket for prestige rather than capital. Noisy shareholders are seen as a nuisance. Independent outside directors are rarities. Hostile takeovers are unheard of. Foreigners may complain most loudly about the isolation of Japanese companies, but everyone, especially the Japanese public, is a victim.” But there is reason to think change is on the horizon. More here.

On poor corporate governance in Kenya, which is deterring foreign investors from partnering with SMEs.

Corporate governance shortcomings of one of Australia’s largest companies “hints at the growing pains of rapidly expanding mining companies in the resources boom.” In general, however, top Australian companies are meeting standards.

On the push for a CEO/Chair Split at Exon Mobil: “The involvement of the Rockefellers highlights the nonsensical nature of the complaint often made by opponents of shareholder rights—namely that shareholder resolutions tend to be the politically motivated work of activists and trade unions. They are generous philanthropists, but the Rockefellers are no bleeding hearts. Their support for the resolution is driven by a desire to maximise the long-term value of their Exxon shares.” The vote did not receive at majority at the Exon Mobil AGM yesterday, however.

In Canada, Ted Rogers profiled. His son Edward also. Stephen Jarislowsky on the current financial situation: “This crisis is totally man made… It was made through sheer stupidity, a lack or regulation … indulgence and greed.”

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