Broadridge Fumbles a Virtual Meeting on Virtual Meetings.

A couple weeks ago, Elizabeth Mozley of Broadridge Financial Solutions (BR) invited me to join a working group to develop best practices for conducting virtual annual meetings. I was torn about participating. On one hand, Broadridge has a too-substantial financial interest in the outcome, as they have a near monopoly on the technology for conducting […]

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Somebody Nudge the New York Times.

Kevin Roose of the New York Times just wrote a story, “Nuns Who Won’t Stop Nudging”, about the shareowner activism of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR). It is nice to see the religious organizations that coordinate through ICCR getting media attention for their hard work, but there are a few things missing. Maybe the […]

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This Is What Democracy Looks Like.

Yesterday, I headed over to Dewey Square for my first visit to Occupy Boston. I found more than I expected, and less. The closely spaced tents are a cacophony of colors, nestled among office buildings. To one corner is the venerable South Station, completed in 1899. The aluminum Federal Reserve building towers above, aging ungracefully. People […]

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Hot Coffee and the Threat to Our Legal System

We have all heard the story of the woman who burned herself spilling McDonald’s coffee in her lap: she sued the company and won $160,000 in compensatory damages plus $2.7 million in punitive damages. The case became the butt of jokes on late night television and radio talk shows. It illustrated, for millions of Americans, […]

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How To Steal a Corporate Election

There are plenty of ways to steal an election. Some require guns. Others depend on bribes. Perhaps the simplest involve misleading ballots. For its corporate election this year, American Tower Corporation (AMT) has produced a humdinger. Item 04 of their ballot (technically a VIF; I will explain this legal nicety some other time) gives shareowners […]

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CEO Pay at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

The inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has released a devastating report on executive compensation at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the wake of the government’s $153 billion bailout of those firms.

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SEC Enforcement: Will They or Won’t They?

The SEC has a reputation of enforcing regulations against two-bit players in the financial arena while tiptoeing around the big boys. Back in December, Apache Corp. (APA) announced plans to flaunt US securities laws. The Commission’s response has been three months of unbroken silence. Apache’s CEO, G. Steven Farris, is waging a war against shareowner […]

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Kudos to the SEC

Yesterday, Goldman Sachs blinked, announcing their “private placement” of Facebook stock would be closed to US investors. They claimed this “was not required or requested by any other party”, but the transaction was under scrutiny from the SEC. Facebook will still get their financing. There is every reason to believe Goldman can fill their $1.5 […]

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Financial Reform: Sound Bites and Window Dressing

On Thursday, Representative Michele Bachmann (Tea Party Republican of Minnesota) introduced a bill to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial reform. With the Senate and Obama standing in the way, it won’t go anywhere. But who cares? The 2008 market crisis should have prompted serious reforms. Instead, we got sweeping window dressing. Dodd-Frank left in place the […]

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Facebook and Goldman Sachs: What You Should Know

If you are one of the lucky few investors Goldman Sachs is offering pre-IPO shares of Facebook to, buy all you can afford! The deal will be squeaky clean, and you will make gobs of money. Goldman Sachs will do everything possible to ensure you do. How do I know? Let’s connect a few dots. […]

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Broadridge Smokes Their Own Dope

The rudimentary software Broadridge offers corporations for running virtual annual meetings disenfranchises shareowners. This was on display when Symantec Corp. hosted a virtual-only annual meeting with the software in September. It was again on display yesterday. There is an old saying that cautions “never smoke your own dope.” Broadridge didn’t heed that advice yesterday when […]

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Inside Job – Movie Recommendation

If you see just one movie this year, make it the documentary Inside Job. Then tell everyone you know to see it. In just two hours, through interviews with financiers, politicians and academics, it builds a case that greed and deregulation have corrupted not only Wall Street, but Washington and academia as well. If you don’t know […]

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