A blog which periodically revisits evergreen investment principles!

Tag: Corporate Governance

What powers the world of Moneylanders?

The Oracle of Omaha once wrote, “It has been far safer to steal large sums with a pen than small sums with a gun” (1988 Chairman’s Letter to Shareholders).

This statement rings loud and clear in an era where entrepreneurs have amassed humongous amounts of illicit wealth by siphoning off shareholders’ money or diverting proceeds from lenders for personal purposes, leaving no distinction between corporate net worth and their own. 

The greed for a lavish life, the desire to meet analysts’ quarterly expectations, to drive up the stock price (they benefit from stock options) makes corporate frauds an endless battle to fight against.

Howard Schilit in his book, ‘Financial Shenanigans’ has very well illuminated the multiple ways by which it is highly possible to dress the financial results and manipulate numbers and stock price.

Do companies get the shareholders they deserve?

Traditional Textbook Economics has the point of view of maximising utility. It means that each individual’s action in the economy is based on the expectation that they will make the maximum possible gain from a transaction. Whereas, behavioural economics has taught us, painfully, that we may not always be doing this well. We may set out with the best intentions of maximum gain but many times our actions fall short of the goal.

It is not the final action, but the motivation underlying the action, that decides what is or is not viewed as cooperative or fair behaviour.
– Games Indians Play by V Raghunathan

Why Should Companies be Well Behaved? – Part 1

By Raunak Onkar | [email protected]

Normally when we think of a word, our mind creates a mental image of it. We realise if we associate some strong meaning / feeling with that word. The word ‘corporate governance’ doesn’t invoke any of those things. It’s a bland, technical word which only seems like a good filler in an otherwise boring conversation about stocks.

If we wish to really create a mental picture for good corporate governance, first we need to create a good picture of the business world in general. Good governance, in simple terms, is being treated fairly when not in power by those who are in power. It applies as much to governments as to companies.

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