Tag Archive for ‘U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’
While the Supreme Court in Citizens United envisioned a world where shareholders could hold managers accountable for political spending, corporations have clever legal ways to hide their role in politics from the public. Over the past few weeks, a growing consensus among shareholders, corporate leaders and corporate law experts has emerged. All are urging increased transparency for corporate money in politics.
It’s been over three years since credit markets started shaking with the early tremors of the subprime crisis, and two years since that spread into a marketwide collapse. Prosecutors, regulators, Congress and journalists have spent the year uncovering the financial shenanigans that brought the market to its knees. It’s been marked by a few blockbuster settlements and more revealing investigations — as well as by some noticeable inaction in the reckoning.
A new measure designed to combat corruption in resource-rich countries by requiring mining and energy companies to disclose payments to foreign governments was highlighted this week by U.S. President Barack Obama in a speech at the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit in New York. The requirement is a provision of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill signed into law by Mr. Obama in July.
Given the green light by Congress, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved and released a long-awaited rule on procedures under which shareholders can get their nominees for directors included in corporate proxy materials. Under the new rule, shareholders seeking access to proxies would have to own at least 3% of the total voting power entitled to vote at an annual meeting.
When financial results aren’t what they seemed to be – and a company is forced to issue material financial restatements – how does it recoup the incentive pay and bonuses that were awarded to senior managers on the basis of rosier outcomes? It’s not a simple process, as evidenced by reactions to a provision in the newly-enacted Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation.