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Corporate Governance – portrayed in the individual cultural and legal framework, from the standpoint of equity capital.

VIPsight is a dynamic photo archive, sorted by nations and dates, by and for those interested in CG from all over the world.

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transparent and independent current information / comments / facts and figures on corporate governance locally and internationally,

  • written by local CG experts,
  • selected and structured by the Club of Florence,
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Buhlmann's Corner


Who are the people?

How long can a king rule against the people? In 1989 chanting human chains threaded through Leipzig’s city centre, and a little blooper on television ended with the breaking down of the Wall. In 2010 half the nation’s managerial elite goes on the media to announce “we are the people”, to get the government back on track again. If there were elections today, there would presumably be a different ruler.

Dare a ruler set up a successor he knows the majority of voters do not “want”? Dare a company or town administration invest in a project that brings upright Swabians onto the streets in droves? Should levies be invented that may be justified in terms of regulatory policy but are manifestly nothing other than sharp practice? I am thinking here of the solidarity levy which for 20 years has been facilitating the merger of the German Democratic Republic with the Federal Republic, or the sugar-market levy, forgetting to abolish which has led to a new sugar-sweet sugar tax on the new European elite. Now the nuclear levy is to come on top of it all, probably leading mainly to frightening off the energy consumer.

If the people do not pull the responsibility brake, then they have no right to complain later – at most, they should leave the country. If the shareholder does not pull the responsibility brake then he too has no right to complain later about what management has got up to.

The people of Karstadt pensioners are still surprised that breaking up the group depends on a decision about an oustanding account of the very bank that those very same pensioners wholly own. Who was actually on the Supervisory Board when all this started to happen? Who is going to take responsibility for it, and not just their fee? Or is there nothing like that in retirement provision, since after all the Pensions-Sicherungs-Verein is there to guarantee pensions? There the facts, the incomes and the irresponsibility are remixed, recalculated and reconverted – is it any surprise if the contribution is multiplied several times this year?

What counts is the people. And it is the people who have the power – if they only want it.