Regaining Corporate Governance Balance

by Peter Atkins,  for Harvard Law School Forum at Harvard Law School, April 16, 2010

Those who believe that U.S. corporate governance reform efforts have been moving too fast and too far off course need to focus carefully on the current state of play.  We are at a moment in time when it may be possible to achieve a more balanced outcome from Washington than seemed likely only a few months ago.  However, this moment can easily turn into a missed opportunity if it is not recognized and the effort to take advantage of it is not pursued.

The Current Environment

On the political front, certain potentially moderating circumstances may have developed.  2010 has seen the Democrats lose their 60 vote, filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and, in the face of a heated national debate, achieve passage of significant federal health care reform legislation that may have repercussions in the mid-term elections this coming November.

However, populist ire at U.S. government bailouts of banks and financial institutions continues to resonate.  It remains to be seen whether and to what extent this will be a counteracting force in support of expanded federal government regulation…(continue reading)

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