Felix Salmon at Reuters savages Ruth Simmons, the President of Brown University and a member of Goldman’s board of directors. He points out how completely unqualified she is to provide governance to a financial firm, and how she seems more interested in the benefits her board membership can bring to her than she is in her fiduciary responsibility to shareholders. His points are true for many members of corporate boards. Board members need to provide tough, knowledgeable oversight, not a comfortable pillow for management’s decisions. The lack of strong boards is a major component in both corporate malfeasance and ludicrous executive pay schemes.
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