117th Congress Begins by Protecting Whistleblowers 

This post first appeared on the Climate Risk Disclosure Lab’s website.  As the 117th Congress commences, the United States is facing several immense and immediate challenges: the COVID-19 pandemic, its resulting economic crisis, and climate change among them. Against this backdrop, the House of Representatives has made protecting whistleblowers one of their first legislative actions.    Every Congress starts by passing rules that all members and staff must abide by. This year, the House rules for the 117th Congress, contained in House Res. 8, included provisions concerning whistleblowers.  In response […]

CEO Activism and Firm Value

In recent years, it has become increasingly common for corporate leaders to speak out on hot-button social and political issues. CEOs like Tim Cook (Apple) and Marc Benioff (Salesforce) have expressed their views in support of LGBTQ rights, Satya Nadella (Microsoft) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) have been outspoken on immigration, and Bob Iger (Walt Disney) […]

Current State of Research on Factor Investing in Government Bonds

Factor investing has grown in popularity over the last few decades, especially with respect to equity markets. After extending Fama-French factors to corporate bond markets, recent research has more often concentrated on the government bond space and revealed that there is indeed clear empirical evidence for the existence of significant government bond factors. Voices that […]

Personnel is Policy: Changes of Agency Leadership under a Biden-Harris Administration

The outcome of recent national elections will result in a change of Administration and control of both houses of Congress by the Administration’s political party. As a result, there will be a change in national policy and in the leadership of the agencies that will oversee and enforce it. This post will review currently announced and potential changes to the leadership of Federal agencies that exercise supervisory and regulatory power regarding financial services and housing and the policy […]

The Long Shadow Beyond Lockdown: Board Chairs’ Professional Epidemic Experience and Corporate Investment

The coronavirus pandemic has caused great damage to the global economy, due to the disease itself and the subsequent local and country-wide lockdowns to contain it. While recent investigations have focused on the short-term impact of COVID-19 and the lockdowns, the long-term impact, especially the ways that epidemic experience affects managerial decision making, has received […]

Danske Bank Money Laundering Case Study

Courtesy of Lee Reiners and Joseph A. Smith Jr. This case study draws primarily—and in some instances quotes verbatim—from the “Report on the Non-Resident Portfolio at Danske Bank’s Estonian Branch” prepared for the Bank on September 19, 2018, by the law firm Bruun & Hjejle.[1] Additional details are derived from other sources, including Danske Bank […]

Carillion Plc: A Governance Case Study from the UK

Courtesy of Joseph A. Smith Jr. At year-end 2016, Carillion Plc (Carillion or the company) was, in the words of its annual report, “one of the UK’s leading integrated support services companies, with a substantial portfolio of Public Private Partnership projects, extensive construction capabilities and a sector-leading ability to deliver sustainable solutions.” [1] The company […]

Wells Fargo Unauthorized Account Openings: A Case Study for Bank Board Directors

Courtesy of Joseph A. Smith Jr. and Lee Reiners This case study draws primarily – and in some instances quotes verbatim –  from the 113 page report of the Wells Fargo board’s independent investigation of retail banking sales practices.  The case study also relies on the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s report titled: […]