The Most Important Concepts in Finance
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The Most Important Concepts in Finance

Edited by Benton E. Gup

Anyone trying to understand finance has to contend with the evolving and dynamic nature of the topic. Changes in economic conditions, regulations, technology, competition, globalization, and other factors regularly impact the development of the field, but certain essential concepts remain key to a good understanding. This book provides insights about the most important concepts in finance.
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Chapter 5: Regulating corporate governance in the public interest: the case of systemic risk

Steven L. Schwarcz

Extract

There has long been a debate whether corporate governance law should require some duty to the public. The accepted wisdom is not to require such a duty – that corporate profit maximization provides jobs and other public benefits that exceed any harm. This is especially true, the argument goes, because imposing specific regulatory requirements and making certain actions illegal or tortious – what I will call “regulating substance,” in contrast to “regulating governance” – can mitigate the harm without unduly impairing corporate wealth production. Whether that is true in other contexts, I question if it is true in the context of systemic economic harm. My examination is based in part on a separate article and also parallels the efforts of a working group (which I chair) of Fellows of the American College of Bankruptcy, which is examining the same question under the laws of various nations worldwide.

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