Chapter 6: Conclusion
One of the challenges faced by both scholars of corporate governance and by organizations that intend to provide enabling frameworks for good corporate governance is the complexity of the relationships that exist between companies on one side and their shareholders, stakeholders and gatekeepers on the other side. This complexity seems to be one of the main reasons why corporate scandals still occur, despite the existence of an extensive academic literature on corporate governance and the sustained efforts by national as well as cross-national regulators over the last decades to improve corporate governance. The recent ‘credit crunch’ is a reminder that corporate governance at company and industry level, as well as regulation on corporate governance more widely, is deficient in the sense that it does not properly deal with the complex nature of these relationships and the potential conflicts of interests therein. Banks over the last few years have not only failed their shareholders, but also their customers, the taxpayer and society at large. The fact that bank failures have to a large degree been concentrated in Anglo-Saxon countries also suggests that no one corporate governance system is superior, despite the widely accepted view in the academic literature claiming that investor protection is higher in common law countries (such as the UK and the US) than in civil law countries (such as France and Germany). The recent events have included UK banks, such as HBOS, being rescued by banks (such as the Spanish Santander Group) based in countries with corporate law...
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