The topic of the first plenary of Day #2 of the ICGN conference was whether the time had arrived for an holistic review of the financial market regulatory framework. This question was timely because most of the standard 'hard law' responses (to failure) have done little more than to increase the compliance burden that companies needed to deal with. The panel was quick to acknowledge this. It suggested that an holistic review was needed, and warned that genuine change would only occur if several desirable behaviours (I'd call them 'social commitments') were embraced alongside the hard law responses. The following social commitments were discussed:
This discussion was as interesting as it was disappointing. To the average man in the street, an holistic framework incorporating hard rules and social commitments makes good sense. The disappointment was that the discussion was even needed. Clearly, some boards remain reluctant to make (let alone embrace) the social commitments. Given this, it is little wonder that 'big business' has such a poor reputation amongst the general populace.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and effective board practice; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.