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
It was William Faulkner who wrote, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” How we understand the origins of our institutions and the men and women who shaped them shapes what we value about them now. It informs what we keep and what we change and what we build that’s new.
Last month, on 4th of July weekend, I found myself thinking about Thomas Jefferson and slavery. You know the derision directed at the author of the Declaration of Independence on this topic — and, in some quarters, at the legitimacy of the entire American project in light of his and the other Founders’ failure to abolish slavery at the country’s start.
The Ukraine crisis is generating a lot of tough talk about Russia’s expansionist agenda into its former Soviet territory. Since the downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight by pro-Russia separatists in the war-torn region last week, the United States and Europe have tightened sanctions against some Russian industries and threatened more.
But the threat may mostly be bluster. On Tuesday, European foreign ministers backed away from imposing the toughest sanctions to continue with their strategy of pinprick sanctions and threats of toughness. The reason is simple: Europe desperately needs a steady supply of Russian natural gas, a tight spot that Europe’s policies have only made tighter despite years of warning.