Doug Cornelius's Reviews > Money for Nothing: How the Failure of Corporate Boards Is Ruining American Business and Costing Us Trillions

Money for Nothing by John Gillespie
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Dec 17, 2014

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bookshelves: publisher-provided, read-in-2010, compliance, non-fiction
Read from May 01 to 13, 2010

The subtitle of Money for Nothing lets you know what’s coming: How the Failure of Corporate Boards Is Ruining American Business and Costing Us Trillions. If you’ve had your pitchfork and torch at the ready for a march on corporate malfeasance, then this is the book for you.

John Gillespie and David Zweig spend the first half of the book bashing on the easy targets: Countrywide, Lehman Brothers, Tyco, Fannie Mae, GM, Chesapeake, and AIG.

What to do?

For retail investors I think the answer is very easy. Sell the stock and buy stock in a different company. Its a bigger issue for institutional investors. Their ownership interest may be so large that selling their position would bring down the share price even further resulting in an even bigger loss.

After 200+ pages of pointing out board failures the authors turn to a chapter full of solutions and ways to fix boards. If you are a student of corporate governance you’re not going to find anything particularly new or innovative in the author’s proposed solutions.

The real question is how to get them implemented. As the authors tell throughout the book, it’s not in the short-term interests of the board or senior executives to implement these changes. It will be up to the exchanges, regulators and big investors.
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