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Governance/Compliance

Straight Talk About Minimum Wage Laws

California Governor Jerry Brown just signed a bill that will gradually raise the state’s minimum wage from $8/hour to $10/hour by 2016, saying it is a long overdue measure to raise the income of working families. Yet earlier in September Washington DC Mayor Vincent Gray, also a Democrat, vetoed a City Council bill that would require large retailers [read Wal-Mart] in the city to pay higher wages, a measure that had drawn national attention. Gray called the bill a "job-killer," saying it would result in the loss of thousands of jobs in Washington. So who’s right?

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Why 9 Years Is a Lucky Number for Board Director Tenure and Effectiveness

Grumbling about corporate boards -- about long-tenured directors too cozy with management, for example -- may be inevitable among investors, but new research by a young accounting scholar suggests surprisingly that at least one aspect of corporate organization suits Wall Street fine. Company performance actually rises with board tenure—but only up to a point--indicating there’s a tradeoff between knowledge and entrenchment.

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After Ballmer, What?

Since he announced his intention to step down as CEO of Microsoft Steve Ballmer has triggered a world wide betting game as to who will succeed him. Microsoft’s board has appointed a special committee to help decide if the next chief executive will be an insider like Julie Larson-Green, or the prodigal Stephen Elop of Nokia. (Ladbrokes, the London betting agents give Elop a 5 to 1 advantage.) But the central issue of concern is what the company needs to do to transform since it lost its dominate position in computing. Microsoft once ruled the tech world. Now it’s one player among many. Will the new CEO have his or her options foreclosed?

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Navigating Governance Options in a Private Company

Improved operating performance, advance intelligence on emerging trends, higher valuation, right tone at the top, and expansion into new products and services are typical goals for privately held companies. Well defined governance oversight from private company directors can assist business owners reach these goals.

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The Hidden Impact of Delayed ACA Health Penalties on Business

Conceding, in effect, implementation problems with the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration is delaying enforcement of a key provision of the new health-care law that requires large employers to provide coverage for workers or pay a penalty in 2014, the biggest revision so far to the federal health-care overhaul. The knock-on effects for business may prove significant.

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Why Unions Are Shrinking

According to recently released 2012 Department of Labor data the rate of unionization -- the percentage of American workers belonging to unions -- declined faster under President Obama’s first term than during two terms of President George W. Bush. Diana Furchtgott-Roth, former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor and senior fellow at The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, argues that the President’s own anti-business policies are largely to blame. This is not as counterintuitive as it sounds.

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