日本経済新聞「株主総会、実のある対話へ法改正 株主提案に上限案」(2018年1月15日)

もう一つの柱である取締役会改革では、社外取締役の設置の義務付けが焦点だ。主に上場会社を対象に義務付ける案と、現行のまま義務付けない案を併記する。義務付けには企業経営の透明性向上に期待する声がある。一方、東京証券取引所の上場企業の9割超が社外取締役を設けており、あえて義務付ける必要はないとの見方もある。

WSJ, Three, Four, Five? How Many Board Seats Are Too Many?

Directors at public companies spend an average of 248 hours a year for each board served, up from nearly 191 hours in 2005, according to surveys by the National Association of Corporate Directors. The tallies cover tasks such as attending meetings, travel and chats with management. “It’s more of a job now,” observed Peter Gleason, the association’s president.

Outsourcing the Board

In this groundbreaking work, Stephen Bainbridge and Todd Henderson change the conversation about corporate governance by examining the origins, roles, and performance of boards with a simple question in mind: why does the law require governance to be delivered through individual board members? While tracing the development of boards from quasi-political bodies through the current “monitoring” role, the authors find the reasons for this requirement to be wanting. Instead, they propose that corporations be permitted to hire other business associations—known as “Board Service Providers” or BSPs—to provide governance services. Just as corporations hire law firms, accounting firms, and consulting firms, so too should they be permitted to hire governance firms, a small change that will dramatically increase board accountability and enable governance to be delivered more efficiently. Outsourcing the Board should be read by academics, policymakers, and those within the corporations that will benefit from this change.

Yakov Amihud, Markus M. Schmid & Steven Davidoff Solomon, Do Staggered Boards Affect Firm Value?, — Iowa Law Review — (forthcoming 2017)

We attempt to resolve conflicting empirical results in studies on the wealth effects of staggered boards by addressing issues of endogeneity, omitted variable bias and functional form. In a sample of up to 2,961 firms from 1990 to 2013 we find that additional variables provide significant explanatory power for the (negative) wealth effects of staggered firms found in prior studies, and their inclusion makes the effect of a staggered board on firm value insignificant. When we control for endogeneity by the instrumental variable method, we find again that the staggered board has no significant effect on firm value. Our results suggest caution about legal solutions which advocate wholesale adoption or repeal of the staggered board and instead evidence an individualized firm approach, and provide some measure of skepticism for law-related corporate governance proposals generally.

William W. Bratton, The Separation of Corporate Law and Social Welfare (2017)

It is often said today that, as a matter of economics, shareholder value enhancement proxies as social welfare enhancement. But my essay shows the association to be false. It is also said that shareholding has been democratized, aligning the shareholder interest with that of society as a whole. But this proposition also is false. Although more people have interests in shares, the shareholder interest retains substantially the same upper bracket profile that characterized it at the end of World War II.

Corporate law, thus separated from social welfare, today provides a framework well-suited to attainment of shareholder objectives, which in fact have been realized for the most part. If the practice continues to evolve in this mode, the field of corporate law can be expected to fall away from public policy margin and evolve as a narrow private law domain.

via Columbia Law School