Anger over the failures of the political system to serve the needs of Main Street, and resentment over the excesses and abuses of Wall Street, led to a formidable but aspirational grass roots force for change in 2008.   Its fierce return in 2016, at a time of even more pronounced income disparity and mistrust of […]

The Curse of Giants | Part 1

AN ESSAY BY J. RICHARD FINLAY On Corporate Integrity in the Post-Bailout Era Recent multi-billion dollar settlements involving Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase show the staggering costs of ethical folly and the culture of moral hazard that places too many companies, and capitalism itself, at risk. It is the curse of giants to believe […]

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The Curse of Giants | Part II

An Essay by J. Richard Finlay The blind eye which shareholders and analysts too long cast upon the abuse of excessive CEO pay is now being turned to the recent trend of monetizing ethical abuse. Who knows when the tipping point might come in the ever-widening wealth gap where capitalism is finally seen to cross […]

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The Folly of Entrenched Interests

The blindness of entrenched interests to the looming forces that threaten to disrupt their legitimacy and the lives of those who depend upon it is the was the defining failure of major corporate and government institutions today.  Some work diligently to overcome that obstacle with sound governance practices and a sensitivity to the foundation of […]

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Did Bear Stearns Really Have a Board? | Part I

How this 85-year-old icon of Wall Street was governed was also a clue as to how it might fail. When rumors were circling the company and threatening its survival, it responded by issuing a strong statement denying liquidity problems. The board agreed. But astonishingly, the company disintegrated less than 48 hours later and was quickly […]

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The Great American Boardroom Bailout Sweepstakes

Main Street always pays for the wild parties Wall Street throws and the cleanup required afterwards. Do you have your ticket for the Great American Boardroom Bailout Sweepstakes? Probably not. You need a special pass to get to the front of the line. Angelo Mozilo, CEO of Countrywide Financial, once the largest mortgage lender in […]

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The Betrayers of Capitalism and its Promise

America is well into its second Guilded Age, as the top one percent received their largest share of national income since 1928 and CEO compensation continues to soars, breaking all laws of gravity.  Capitalism can be a marvelous machine for advancing individual prosperity and social progress. But  when it falls into the clutches of the greedy and self-obsessed […]

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