Cracking the Code

In a recent post I noted that, despite some improvements, good corporate governance isn’t something Germans have an easy time getting their heads round. The Financial Times Deutschland reports that there might be a good reason for this: in Germany, it doesn’t seem to matter much how well a corporation is governed.

As the FTD reports, a new study from the consultancy Ergo Kommunikation maintains that ‘investors do not reward German firms that abide by the Corporate Government Code…. Their share prices profit just as little from a high level of transparency or disclosure of managing directors’ compensation.’ [My translation.]

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How do you say ‘corporate governance’ in German?

About the bombings in London I have nothing useful to say, beyond expressing my sympathies for the wounded and bereaved and my admiration of Londoners’ stoic resolve. And as others, here and elsewhere, are expressing those things better than I could, I shall leave it to them to do so.

Instead I shall turn to another topic, one that is admittedly less dramatic, but important for all that. That topic is corporate governance; specifically, corporate governance as it is (or is not) implemented in Germany. In recent days German headlines have been full of two particularly interesting items: a corporate governance scandal of colossal proportions at a major firm, and now a significant governance reform that is unlikely to make top German managers very happy.

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