Saturday, April 4, 2009

Where are the watchdogs?

It always amazes me that whenever responsibility for corporate failure is assigned, management is trotted up to the firing line. To be sure managerial decisions could have been more carefully considered, data could have been more thoroughly analyzed, and there could have been more humility in accepting responsibility. However, the reason that companies have boards of directors is precisely that management needs overseers to check their logic, test their assumptions, and verify their motives. I have yet to see directors take the 'perp walk' much less grilled by our brave politicians. We are looking in the wrong places to assign blame or fix the problem. One can understand management for acting in their self-interest but there is no excuse for directors, charged with the moral responsibility of protecting the corporation and its stakeholders, for sleeping at the switch.

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