By Robert A. G. Monks
Within the wake of the dramatic sequence of company meltdowns: Enron; Tyco; Adelphia; WorldCom; the well timed new version of this profitable textual content offers scholars and company execs with a welcome replace of the major concerns dealing with managers, forums of administrators, traders, and shareholders.In addition to its authoritative review of the historical past, the parable and the truth of company governance, this new version has been up-to-date to include:analysis of the most recent instances of company catastrophe; an outline of company governance directions and codes of perform in constructing and rising markets new circumstances: Adelphia; Arthur Andersen; Tyco Laboratories; Worldcom; Gerstner's pay packet at IBMOnce back within the new version in their textbook, Robert A. G. clergymen and Nell Minow express sincerely the position of company governance in ensuring the suitable questions are requested and the required exams and balances in position to guard the long term, sustainable worth of the company. A CD-ROM containing a complete case examine of the Enron cave in, entire with senate hearings and video pictures, accompanies the textual content. additional lecturer assets and hyperlinks can be found at www.blackwellpublishing.com/monks
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But, in reality, successful prosecutions are all but impossible to achieve. In English legal history, there have been four prosecutions of corporations for manslaughter, and only one conviction. CGC01 08/09/2005 3:21 PM Page 28 28 CORPORATE GOVERNANCE The problems of securing a conviction were vividly highlighted by the Herald of Free Enterprise tragedy. Following the coroner’s inquest into the disaster, the jury returned verdicts of unlawful killing in all 187 cases. P&O European Ferries was charged with manslaughter, as were seven high-ranking company officers.
Those two questions are closely related, but their answers are worlds apart. For example, imagine a company that has record-breaking earnings and excellent shareholder returns. This is in part made possible by a rigorous cost-cutting campaign that includes CGC01 08/09/2005 3:21 PM Page 25 WHAT IS A CORPORATION? 25 illegal dumping of toxic waste materials, thereby saving the money that had been used to meet environmental standards for disposal. The company’s balance sheet and other financials will look very good.
25 In the US, the decade of the 1990s was a time in which 10 percent of the value of listed companies – roughly $1 trillion in value at the top of the market – was transferred from the shareholders to the CEOs. While shareholders did very well during that period, CEOs did much better. CGC01 08/09/2005 3:21 PM Page 31 WHAT IS A CORPORATION? 31 CORPORATE CRIME: “WITHIN THE LIMITS OF THE LAW” Did you ever expect a corporation to have a conscience, when it has no soul to be damned and no body to be kicked?