Sound corporate governance is essential for a well-functioning banking system and the integrity of financial markets. This column discusses the corporate governance of Italian banks, its regulatory framework, and the specific challenges arising from the role played by foundations and large cooperatives. Although Italian banks have recently made progress in improving their corporate governance, more needs to be done.
Nadege Jassaud, Thursday, October 30, 2014
Patricia Jackson, Monday, October 13, 2014
Following the Global Crisis the focus has been on how to make banks safer. Capital and liquidity requirements have been tightened, but attention now needs to shift to corporate governance and risk culture. This column argues that in opaque organisations, formal risk-appetite frameworks can provide a pre-commitment mechanism that tightens risk governance, but a focus on the wider risk culture is also important.
Alex Edmans, Thursday, September 11, 2014
Executive pay is a controversial political issue with big implications for firm performance. Although public debate focuses on the level of compensation – or at best its sensitivity to firm performance – this column argues that the key issue is its temporal structure. A well designed payment structure can align CEO incentives with long-term shareholder value. The authors recommend lengthening the vesting period of equity and options.
Chie Aoyagi, Giovanni Ganelli, Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Japanese corporations hold a very high level of cash on their balance sheets compared to those in other advanced countries. Such excessive corporate savings are likely to be holding back growth by preventing a more efficient use of resources. This column presents recent research showing that improving corporate governance would help unlock Japan’s corporate savings, exit deflation, and revive growth. Comprehensive corporate governance reform should be a key component of Japan’s growth strategy.
Luc Laeven, Lev Ratnovski, Monday, July 21, 2014
Bank distress during the recent crisis caused significant damage to the real economy. Appropriately, the policy response focused on stronger bank supervision and regulation. This column asks if there is a role for improvements in bank corporate governance. Based on the literature the authors suggest that better risk management, regulation of pay, and enhanced market discipline can help make banks safer. However, corporate governance cannot substitute for strong supervision: it can at best provide a helping hand.
Alex Bryson, John Forth, Minghai Zhou, Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Publicly traded companies are the engine behind China’s growth, which raises the question of how CEO compensation works under an interventionist state. This column presents an analysis of executive compensation in China and a comparison to the West. Chinese listed firms have incentive structures similar to those of the US; in this case, effective compensation policies seem to transcend political boundaries.
Pascal Lamy, Ian Goldin, Friday, March 28, 2014
Excessive short-termism is always a problem for policy, but the Global Crisis has brought it sharply into focus. This column introduces a report that discusses how a shift to longer-term solutions is necessary and possible. A key message is that businesses as well as governments need to take a longer-term view. The report identifies ways to overcome the current impasse in key economic, climate, trade, security, and other negotiations.
Ian Gregory-Smith, Steve Thompson, Peter Wright, Monday, March 24, 2014
In 2003, the UK adopted a ‘say on pay’ policy, whereby quoted companies’ executive compensation offers have to be put to a shareholder vote. This column presents evidence that this policy has had a relatively modest impact on executive pay. A 10% increase in compensation is associated with an increase in shareholder dissent against the proposal of just 0.2%. However, remuneration committees representing the more highly rewarded CEOs are quite sensitive to dissent, provided it exceeds a critical threshold of about 10%. Shareholders do not appear more anxious about pay since the crisis.
Deniz Anginer, Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, Harry Huizinga, Kebin Ma, Sunday, November 10, 2013
Bank capitalisation determines the probability of a bank failure. This column discusses how bank’s corporate governance affects its capitalisation. Corporate governance, in which the bank acts in the interest of its shareholders, is defined as a good one. Such governance, however, can lead to lower bank capitalisation. It also has possibly negative implications for financial stability.
Alex Edmans, Vivian W Fang, Emanuel Zur, Saturday, February 16, 2013
The stock market is a powerful tool for controlling corporations’ behaviour. But which is better, a highly liquid market or a number of large blockholders? This column argues in favour of liquidity. Evidence suggests that policymakers should not reduce stock liquidity through greater regulation. While the idea that liquidity encourages short-term trading – rather than long-term governance – sounds intuitive, deeper analysis shows that liquidity is beneficial because it encourages large shareholders to form in the first place, and allows shareholders to punish underperforming firms through selling their stake.
Mariassunta Giannetti , Guanmin Liao, Xiaoyun Yu, Thursday, January 3, 2013
Is the brain drain reversing? This column argues that increasing numbers of foreign-educated and economic emigrants are returning home. Evidence suggests that the best of the bunch bring with them strong corporate governance practises and an appetite for internationalisation. Through this ‘brain gain’, the return of skilled professionals boosts emerging markets’ economies.
Hamid Mehran, Alan Morrison, Joel Shapiro, Friday, April 6, 2012
A recent op-ed by a former Goldman Sachs employee has led to an outcry over two important themes which came to the fore during the crisis, ie corporate culture and incentives. This column argues that neither regulation nor market forces has put either of these issues to rest. It adds that bank complexity and the too-big-to-fail policy both serve to undermine market discipline.
Craig Doidge, George Andrew Karolyi, René M Stulz, Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Over the past two decades, there has been a dramatic change in initial public offering (IPO) activity around the world. The importance of IPOs in the US relative to the world has not kept up with the economic importance of the US. This column analyses nearly 30,000 IPOs from almost 90 countries between 1990 and 2007 to examine why this might be.
Nicolas Véron, Monday, May 23, 2011
The quip that “cross-border banks are international in life, but national in death” resonates loudly amongst the empty shells of international banks that have since been bailed out by their home countries. This column argues that such tensions will intensify in the coming years.
Fritz Foley, Sergey Chernenko, Robin Greenwood, Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Why do minority shareholders continue to hold stock despite the risk of expropriation by controlling shareholders? This column provides two decades of evidence from Japan suggesting that many investors do not foresee these conflicts of interest, even when there is plenty of disclosure. Inefficient stock markets allow majority shareholders – often parent companies – to sell overpriced stock only to buy it back at a later date.
Viral Acharya, Hyun Song Shin, Irvind Gujral, Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Banks’ corporate governance is under fire. Perhaps one of the worst failures of governance has been the continued payment of dividends throughout the financial crisis. This column says that dividends’ erosion of common equity deprived banks of capital when they most needed it. It proposes cutting dividends as the first step in the resolution of future banking crises.
Luigi Zingales, Wednesday, January 28, 2009
In 1933, US securities regulations were introduced to restore trust in financial markets. Today, a new regulatory focus is needed to address the crisis of confidence. After reviewing the status of financial regulation, this column sketches policy proposals in three key areas of securities markets.
This conference of the Research Training Network on European Coroporate Governance will conclude the project, funded by the 6th Framework Programme for Research by the European Commission.
This Summer School will provide an introduction on current corporate governance issues from an economic, financial, and legal perspective. The focus will be on issues associated with external financing of firms, managerial discretion, and small investor protection. The aim of the Summer School is both to develop the general principles of corporate governance, and to provide a comparative institutional perspective of corporate governance arrangements across countries. The lectures will also be based on several case studies. The Summer School is intended for doctoral and post-doctoral students in economics and finance. Participation is compulsory for Early Stage Researchers of the European Corporate Governance Training Network (ECGTN).