Felix Salmon

The promise of B-corps

By Felix Salmon
May 1, 2012

At the end of Seth Stevenson’s glowing profile of Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, he mentions the way that Chouinard recently converted his company to a B-corp:

The problem with Marc Andreessen

By Felix Salmon
April 26, 2012

2005-new.jpg It’s easy to see why Marc Andreessen is grinning on the front cover of Wired magazine this month. Inside, there’s an interview where he’s introduced as a “tenacious pioneer”, one of “our biggest heroes”, and someone who was so far ahead of the curve on his “five big ideas” that he had them “before everyone else”.

Goldman board muppet of the day, James Johnson edition

By Felix Salmon
April 19, 2012

There’s one corporate-governance metric which isn’t looked at nearly enough, and that’s director pay. Reading the compelling broadside that Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb, who manage the Sequoia Fund, has launched against James Johnson, who’s running for re-election to Goldman’s board, I was glad to be reminded of the governance fiasco he oversaw at Fannie Mae, and I was shocked to learn of his involvement in an options-backdating scandal at United Healthcare. But absent from the letter, and present only in Shahien Nasiripour’s report about it, is the fact that Goldman paid Johnson $523,000 last year.

How many insiders should sit on Goldman’s board?

By Felix Salmon
March 28, 2012

What to make of the discussions within Goldman Sachs about splitting the jobs of chairman and CEO? Lauren LaCapra has the story:

Corporate governance chart of the day, Benford’s Law edition

By Felix Salmon
October 12, 2011

benf_year.jpg

This chart was put together by Jialan Wang, and it shows the degree to which companies’ reported assets and revenues deviate from a Benford’s Law prediction over time. (If you want some good background on Benford’s Law and how it can uncover dodgy numbers from eg the Greek government, Tim Harford had a great column last month on the subject.)

Adventures with FDIC secrecy, cont.

By Felix Salmon
October 11, 2011

Last week, we saw how the Federal Housing Finance Agency was above the law, with the government seemingly having no ability to tell it what to do. This week, it’s the FDIC. In the wake of its obstreporous obstructionism upon receipt of FOIA requests, the FDIC’s smug above-the-law impunity is now coming to light:

The HP board fiasco continues

By Felix Salmon
September 22, 2011

In case Joe Nocera didn’t persuade you that HP’s board was pretty much the worst in corporate America, his replacement as Saturday business columnist, James Stewart, will probably manage to do the job:

BNY Mellon’s interest-rate problem

By Felix Salmon
September 5, 2011

Why is BNY Mellon’s ex-chief, Bob Kelly, getting $33.8 million in severance and benefits in the wake of resigning his position? As Theo Francis explains, it’s because, in the words of the official 8-K, “Mr. Kelly will receive the benefits to which he is contractually entitled on a termination other than for cause”. If this was actually a resignation, Kelly would have got much less. But in reality — and this will come as a surprise to absolutely no one — he had no choice in the matter: he was fired by the board.

The fortunes of Twitter

By Felix Salmon
April 14, 2011

How much are high-value employees worth in Silicon Valley? Quite astonishing amounts of money: