February 02, 2002

Ten Questions About the Evolution of American Corporate Governance

(1) What testable claims are actually made by Mark Roe in his _Strong Managers, Weak Owners_? How would we test them?

(2) Just how were the late nineteenth-century Robber Barons able to raise so much capital without effective investor protections?

(3) The separation of investment from commercial bankings has legal foundations in the fact that progressive-era reform proposals were dusted off and applied to the securities markets because the New Deal had to do something. But does it have older roots?

(4) What do we think of the extent-of-territory theory: taht the U.S. is just so damn big that diversification is just too attractive?

(5) What do we think of the retail sales theory: Salmon Chase, James Stillman, Charles Merrill all made lots of money by pushing securities out to retail investors at relatively high prices?

(6) What do we think about the weak governance theory: that political influence was worth less in U.S., hence the benefits of diversification were more valuable than the benefits of having a central financier-negotiator to strike deals with the government?

(7) Paul Allen, a very smart guy, tried to become high-tech financier-baron and had his head handed to him. Why?

(8) Why does having Berle-Means corporations appear to produce large benefits for America but not for Britain?

(9) Why are new billionaires made in the first post-WWII generation only in media, oil, and real estate only?

Posted by DeLong at February 2, 2002 04:37 PM | TrackBack

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