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A Season in Corporate Governance Purgatory

Stephen Davis and Jon Lukomnik | January 8, 2008

Barry Diller, chairman and CEO of Interactive Corp., once said: “Corporate governance is completely misunderstood, certainly by the birdbrains who write about it.”

That caution is worth remembering as you review our look ahead to corporate challenges in the 2008 annual meeting season. Those insights, for whatever they may be worth, are presented below.

1. The consequences of non-access to the proxy statement. Given recent drama at the Securities and Exchange Commission, it is tempting to say that the top three headline items for 2008 will be access, access, and access. That’s because in November, SEC Chairman Christopher Cox steered the agency into an unnecessarily polarizing decision that blocks shareholder efforts to have some say in the nomination process for board directors. On a strict party-line vote, the agency interpreted federal securities law in such a way as to override state law provisions and... To get the full story, subscribe now.