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Corporate Governance Failures Cover

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Corporate Governance Failures

The Role of Institutional Investors in the Global Financial Crisis

Edited by James P. Hawley, Shyam J. Kamath, and Andrew T. Williams

Corporate governance, the internal policies and leadership that guide the actions of corporations, played a major part in the recent global financial crisis. While much blame has been targeted at compensation arrangements that rewarded extreme risk-taking but did not punish failure, the performance of large, supposedly sophisticated institutional investors in this crisis has gone for the most part unexamined. Shareholding organizations, such as pension funds and mutual funds, hold considerable sway over the financial industry from Wall Street to the City of London. Corporate Governance Failures: The Role of Institutional Investors in the Global Financial Crisis exposes the misdeeds and lapses of these institutional investors leading up to the recent economic meltdown.

In this collection of original essays, edited by pioneers in the field of fiduciary capitalism, top legal and financial practitioners and researchers discuss detrimental actions and inaction of institutional investors. Corporate Governance Failures reveals how these organizations exposed themselves and their clientele to extremely complex financial instruments, such as credit default swaps, through investments in hedge and private equity funds as well as more traditional equity investments in large financial institutions. The book's contributors critique fund executives for tolerating the "pursuit of alpha" culture that led managers to pursue risky financial strategies in hopes of outperforming the market. The volume also points out how and why institutional investors failed to effectively monitor such volatile investments, ignoring relatively well-established corporate governance principles and best practices.

Along with detailed investigations of institutional investor missteps, Corporate Governance Failures offers nuanced and realistic proposals to mitigate future financial pitfalls. This volume provides fresh perspectives on ways institutional investors can best act as gatekeepers and promote responsible investment.

Corporation Nation Cover

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Corporation Nation

Robert E. Wright

Courting Failure Cover

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Courting Failure

How Competition for Big Cases Is Corrupting the Bankruptcy Courts

Lynn Lopucki

LoPucki's provocative critique of Chapter 11 is required reading for everyone who cares about bankruptcy reform. This empirical account of large Chapter 11 cases will trigger intense debate both inside the academy and on the floor of Congress. Confronting LoPucki's controversial thesis-that competition between bankruptcy judges is corrupting them-is the most pressing challenge now facing any defender of the status quo." -Douglas Baird, University of Chicago Law School "This book is smart, shocking and funny. This story has everything-professional greed, wrecked companies, and embarrassed judges. Insiders are already buzzing." -Elizabeth Warren, Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law, Harvard Law School "LoPucki provides a scathing attack on reorganization practice. Courting Failure recounts how lawyers, managers and judges have transformed Chapter 11. It uses empirical data to explore how the interests of the various participants have combined to create a system markedly different from the one envisioned by Congress. LoPucki not only questions the wisdom of these changes but also the free market ideology that supports much of the general regulation of the corporate sector." -Robert Rasmussen, University of Chicago Law School A sobering chronicle of our broken bankruptcy-court system, Courting Failure exposes yet another American institution corrupted by greed, avarice, and the thirst for power. Lynn LoPucki's eye-opening account of the widespread and systematic decay of America's bankruptcy courts is a blockbuster story that has yet to be reported in the media. LoPucki reveals the profound corruption in the U.S. bankruptcy system and how this breakdown has directly led to the major corporate failures of the last decade, including Enron, MCI, WorldCom, and Global Crossing. LoPucki, one of the nation's leading experts on bankruptcy law, offers a clear and compelling picture of the destructive power of "forum shopping," in which corporations choose courts that offer the most favorable outcome for bankruptcy litigation. The courts, lured by big money and prestige, streamline their requirements and lower their standards to compete for these lucrative cases. The result has been a series of increasingly shoddy reorganizations of major American corporations, proposed by greedy corporate executives and authorized by case-hungry judges.

Créativité et gestion Cover

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Créativité et gestion

Les idées au service de l'innovation

Bien plus qu’un simple guide pratique, le présent ouvrage propose un ensemble de clés et d’outils aux gestionnaires qui veulent capitaliser sur l’intelligence créative des membres de leur équipe. Comment détecter les personnes créatives dans l’organisation ou en recruter ? Existe-t-il des méthodes pour réfléchir autrement ? Quelles sont les pratiques à adopter pour cultiver la créativité ? Comment identifier et exploiter de nouvelles occasions d’affaires ? Ce livre vous accompagne pas à pas pour trouver les réponses à ces questions.

Creating Consumers Cover

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Creating Consumers

Home Economists in Twentieth-Century America

Carolyn M. Goldstein

Home economics emerged at the turn of the twentieth century as a movement to train women to be more efficient household managers. At the same moment, American families began to consume many more goods and services than they produced. To guide women in this transition, professional home economists had two major goals: to teach women to assume their new roles as modern consumers and to communicate homemakers' needs to manufacturers and political leaders. Carolyn M. Goldstein charts the development of the profession from its origins as an educational movement to its identity as a source of consumer expertise in the interwar period to its virtual disappearance by the 1970s.

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Creative Destruction?

Economic Crises and Democracy in Latin America

Francisco E. González

Throughout the twentieth century, financial shocks toppled democratic and authoritarian regimes across Latin America. But things began to change in the 1980s. This volume explains why this was the case in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. Taking a comparative historical approach, Francisco E. González looks at how the Great Depression, Latin America’s 1980s debt crisis, and the emerging markets' meltdowns of the late 1990s and early 2000s affected the governments of these three Southern Cone states. He finds that democratic or not, each nation’s governing regime gained stability in the 1980s from a combination of changes in the structure and functioning of national and international institutions, material interests, political ideologies, and economic paradigms and policies. Underlying these changes was a growing ease in the exchange of ideas. As the world’s balance of power transitioned from trilateral to bipolar to unipolar, international institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund increased crisis interventions that backstopped economic freefalls and strengthened incumbents. Urban-based populations with relatively high per capita income grew and exercised their preference for the stability and prosperity they found as a class under democratic rule. These and other factors combined to substantially increase the cost of military takeovers, leading to fewer coups and an atmosphere friendlier toward domestic and foreign capital investment. González argues that this confluence created a pro-democracy bias—which was present even in Augusto Pinochet’s Chile—that not only aided the states’ ability to manage economic and political crises but also lessened the political, social, and monetary barriers to maintaining or even establishing democratic governance. With a concluding chapter on the impact of the Great Recession in other Latin American states, Eastern Europe, and East Asia, Creative Destruction? lends insight into the survival of democratic and authoritarian regimes during times of extreme financial instability. Scholars and students of Latin America, political economy, and democratization studies will find González's arguments engaging and the framework he built for this study especially useful in their own work.

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The Crisis in American Banking

Lawrence White

The U.S. banking system, its regulation and deregulation, and especially its deposit guarantees, continue to pose complex problems. The Crisis in American Banking offers six original perspectives on this continuing crisis, drawing from modern Austrian economics and from public choice theories that have seldom been applied to contemporary banking troubles. The contributors suggest that political regulation has seriously impaired the health of the banking industry. The authors consider long-term prospects for reform in the banking industry in light of the regulatory environment Much in the news lately, the U.S. banking system, its regulation and deregulation, and its troubles, pose a persistent and complex problem for Americans. This timely volume offers six original perspectives keyed to the continuing crisis in the U.S. banking industry. Several authors draw from modern Austrian economics or from public choice theory ideas that have seldom been applied to explaining contemporary banking problems. A pervasive theme of the ideas presented is that the U.S. banking crisis is fundamentally linked to the political regulation of banking. Taken as a whole, the book suggests that government regulatory, macroeconomic, and fiscal policies have seriously impaired the health of the banking industry. The Crisis in American Banking compellingly explains how rent-seeking, ideology, and the historical accretion of regulations have given banking policy its current unfortunate form. Also considered are the long term prospects for reform of banking regulation, and for the banking industry itself in light of the current and foreseeable regulatory environment. At present, the state of the U.S. commercial banking industry and the FDIC suggests disturbing parallels to the state of the savings and loan industry and the FSLIC a decade earlier. The policy regime that allowed their problems to develop does not seem to be on the verge of any dramatic change. The reluctance of Congress to enact real reforms means that the critical analyses and reform proposals in this volume will remain relevant for some time to come.

Contributing to the volume are: Gerald P. Driscoll, Jr. (Vice President and Economic Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), Roger W. Garrison (Auburn University), Thomas Havrilesky (Duke University), George G. Kaufman (Loyola University of Chicago), Richard M. Salsman (Vice President, Financial Institutions Group of Citibank), and Walker Todd (Gulliver Foundation, San Francisco).

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Curbing Bailouts

Bank Crises and Democratic Accountability in Comparative Perspective

Guillermo Rosas

Rosas's compelling theory and wide-ranging empirical evidence yield a persuasive but surprising conclusion in light of the financial meltdown of 2008–9. In the event of banking crises, not only do elected governments treat taxpayers better and force bankers and their creditors to pay more for their mistakes, but bankers in democracies are more prudent as a consequence . . . essential reading for all interested in the political economy of crisis and in the future of banking regulation. ---Philip Keefer, Lead Economist, Development Research Group, The World Bank "Rosas convincingly demonstrates how democratic accountability affects the incidence and resolution of banking crises. Combining formal models, case studies, and cutting-edge quantitative methods, Rosas's book represents a model for political economy research." ---William Bernhard, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Illinois "When the financial crises of the 1990s hit Asia, Russia, and Latin America, the U.S. scolded them about the moral hazard problems of bailing out the banks. Now, the shoe is on the other foot, with the U.S. struggling to manage an imploding financial sector. Rosas's study of bank bailouts could not be more timely, providing us with both a framework for thinking about the issue and some sobering history of how things go both right and badly wrong. Democratic accountability proves the crucial factor in making sure bailouts are fair, a point that is as relevant for U.S. policy as for an understanding of the emerging markets." ---Stephan Haggard, Krause Professor, Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego Banking crises threaten the stability and growth of economies around the world. In response, politicians restore banks to solvency by redistributing losses from bank shareholders and depositors to taxpayers, and the burden the citizenry must bear varies from case to case. Whereas some governments stay close to the prescriptions espoused by Sir Walter Bagehot in the nineteenth century that limit the costs shouldered by taxpayers, others engage in generous bank bailouts at great cost to society. What factors determine a government's response? In this comparative analysis of late-twentieth-century banking crises, Guillermo Rosas identifies political regime type as the determining factor. During a crisis, powerful financial players demand protection of their assets. Rosas maintains that in authoritarian regimes, government officials have little to shield them from such demands and little incentive for rebuffing them, while in democratic regimes, elected officials must weigh these demands against the interests of the voters---that is, the taxpayers. As a result, compared with authoritarian regimes, democratic regimes show a lower propensity toward dramatic, costly bailouts. Guillermo Rosas is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Fellow at the Center in Political Economy at Washington University in St. Louis.

Currency and Contest in East Asia Cover

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Currency and Contest in East Asia

The Great Power Politics of Financial Regionalism

Since the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997-98, East Asian economies have sought to make themselves less vulnerable to global financial markets by transforming the regional financial architecture. With Japan as a leading actor, they have introduced initiatives to provide emergency financing to crisis economies, support the development of local-currency bond markets, and better coordinate currency policies.

In Currency and Contest in East Asia, William W. Grimes builds on years of primary research and scores of interviews with participants and policy analysts to provide the most accurate, complete, and detailed description available of attempts to build financial cooperation among East Asian countries. Adapting realist political economy theory to the realities of contemporary global finance, Grimes places regional issues firmly in the wider context of great-power rivalries. He argues that financial regionalism can best be understood as one arena for competition among Japan, the United States, and China.

Despite their mutual desire for regional prosperity and economic stability, these three powers have conflicting political interests. Their struggles for regional leadership raise questions about the long-term feasibility of regional financial cooperation, the possible effects of Sino-Japanese rivalry on regional financial stability, and the potential for East Asian financial regionalism to undermine the long-established-albeit waning-global and regional dominance of the United States and the dollar.

Declining Significance of Gender?, The Cover

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Declining Significance of Gender?, The

Today, a third of American children are born outside of marriage, up from one child in twenty in the 1950s, and rates are even higher among low-income Americans. Many herald this trend as one of the most troubling of our time. But the decline in marriage does not necessarily signal the demise of the two parent family—over 80 percent of unmarried couples are still romantically involved when their child is born and nearly half are living together. Most claim they plan to marry eventually. Yet half have broken up by their child's third birthday. What keeps some couples together and what tears others apart? After a breakup, how do fathers so often disappear from their children's lives? An intimate portrait of the challenges of partnering and parenting in these families, Unmarried Couples with Children presents a variety of unique findings. Most of the pregnancies were not explicitly planned, but some couples feel having a child is the natural course of a serious relationship. Many of the parents are living with their child plus the mother’s child from a previous relationship. When the father also has children from a previous relationship, his visits to see them at their mother’s house often cause his current partner to be jealous. Breakups are more often driven by sexual infidelity or conflict than economic problems. After couples break up, many fathers complain they are shut out, especially when the mother has a new partner. For their part, mothers claim to limit dads’ access to their children because of their involvement with crime, drugs, or other dangers. For couples living together with their child several years after the birth, marriage remains an aspiration, but something couples are resolutely unwilling to enter without the financial stability they see as a sine qua non of marriage. They also hold marriage to a high relational standard, and not enough emotional attention from their partners is women’s number one complaint. Unmarried Couples with Children is a landmark study of the family lives of nearly fifty American children born outside of a marital union at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Based on personal narratives gathered from both mothers and fathers over the first four years of their children’s lives, and told partly in the couples' own words, the story begins before the child is conceived, takes the reader through the tumultuous months of pregnancy to the moment of birth, and on through the child's fourth birthday. It captures in rich detail the complex relationship dynamics and powerful social forces that derail the plans of so many unmarried parents. The volume injects some much-needed reality into the national discussion about family values, and reveals that the issues are more complex than our political discourse suggests.

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