In March 2010, the White House Writers Group along with Bloomberg, The Torrenzano Group, and CED held a Bloomberg Boards & Risk Briefing in New York City on changes to proxy rules that will have a tremendous impact on American corporations.
It was a half-day briefing on these new developments and what information, strategies, and techniques executives need to address them. There were discussions and presentations with leading experts in corporate governance, law, public policy, strategic communications, and investor relations.
The regulatory reach of Washington is pulling together a qualitatively different kind of economy for America. The alphabet agencies – from the FCC to the FTC – are fighting with gusto and attacking with new and complex regulatory issues.
The SEC is preparing new access-to-the-proxy rules while legislators propose rules on “say-on-pay,” additional powers for financial regulators, as well as new legislative proposals on corporate governance and non-shareholder rights. The EPA is reversing judgments, thereby initiating sweeping reviews of scientific issues believed long settled.
At the individual company level, activists, unions, and special interest groups are skillfully using new technologies to drive their narrow agendas, affect board voting, and disrupt annual meetings.
Behind Washington’s Closed Doors: What Will Happen Next?
Clark S. Judge, Managing Director, White House Writers Group
I spent September’s last full week in Budapest, capital of Hungary. Sharing a border with Ukraine, the former Warsaw Pact country is now member of the European Union and NATO. For the United States, it is a strategic country that has become, thanks to Russian president Vladimir Putin, a tense region.
Over four days, I met with senior political figures and their advisors, college professors, entrepreneurs and journalists and posed questions to an astute British expatriate who was my guide. I also delivered lectures at three universities.
The crackdown from 25 years ago represents what the current showdown is all about. There is a lot of discussion about the “new China” and how the administrations of President Xi Jinping and his predecessor Hu Jintao have taken big steps to modernize the country. But the question remains: Is China any closer to substantive political reform?