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Corporate Governance

For CEOs, Integrity Is the Best Policy

A new study co-authored by Yale SOM’s Thomas Steffen analyzed tens of thousands of shareholder letters to reveal whether executives’ actions typically live up to their promises. It found that firms whose CEOs scored well on this measure of integrity tended to perform better, while facing lower audit fees.
An illustration of a CEO writing a letter with a portrait of Abraham Lincoln on the wall
  • Does focusing on shareholder value hurt shareholder value?

    Shareholders own the corporation, so managers should maximize returns for shareholders, right? Corporate law expert Lynn Stout says that there are problems with this argument, starting with the fact that legally shareholders don't own a corporation. On top of that, she says, prioritization of shareholder value harms returns in the long run.
  • Is x sustainable?

    Will medical costs in the United States swamp our ability to pay? Can information technology continue to get faster, lighter, and more effective? Will global trade go on increasing and generating wealth? Asking if a system is sustainable forces one to project far into the future — and then to look back at the present from that vantage.
  • Who owns the crisis?

    Much of the public anger over the economic crisis has been directed at the CEOs of companies receiving public funds. Ultimately though, CEOs of public corporations are answerable to shareholders. Robert A.G. Monks talks about the role of shareholders in the crisis as well as the effectiveness of policy and regulatory frameworks governing corporations.
  • Have global capital markets shifted?

    Sensing a broad change in the capital markets in recent years, the Millstein Center for Corporate Governance and Performance set out to better understand what was happening. Jonathan Koppell describes what he and his colleagues learned from a series of discussions with investors, directors, managers, and regulators around the globe.