Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Oracle

I didn’t post here on Halloween because I became traumatized by the media’s sudden obsession with slutty costumes and the realization that I am the only woman in America who does not own one. A frantic shopping spree ensued, but when I couldn't get my hands on a Vixen Pirate Wench outfit I decided to call it a day.

So here's my belated Halloween post, with obligatory corny-scary wisecracks.

I recently warned that Proxyland (the place, not the blog) faces a threat to its way of life. Its enemies are gradually assembling a bunch of WMDs – like majority voting and proxy access – and seem quite serious about using them.

I'm not the only one painting this scream-inducing scenario. The well-respected John Wilcox, former proxy solicitor and now Head of Corporate Governance at TIAA-CREF (the public pension fund turned financial services behemoth) has decided to scare the living hell out of corporate America with his "optimist’s view " of ten trends that could change the way things are done around here.

Among the possibilities Wilcox sees in his rose-colored crystal ball:

- Corporate social responsibility, formerly relegated to gadflies and special interest groups, will be recognized as key corporate governance responsibilities for which directors should be held accountable.

- Executive compensation will be brought into line by a combination of factors: enhanced SEC disclosure requirements, an advisory shareholder vote on compensation committee reports, and recognition of the need for internal pay equity.

- The model of the imperial, celebrity CEO will be replaced by the stewardship model

Wow, he really is an optimist.

I’d better start working on my Halloween costume for next year. Hey, how about "imperial CEO"? Surely that comes in a slutty version.