Cadbury Takeover: Closing the Stabledoor after horse has bolted

There is no point in British MPs complaining about the 'dismissive attitude' of Kraft's CEO now that the takeover has long since been executed. Better regulation of takeover law and corportate governance is indeed required and would help in cases such at the takeover of Cadbury by Kraft.

Erste Bank doubles compensation of Supervisory Board

Without judgement on the merits of this particular case we get surprised reactions about the fact that the Supervisory Board members of Austria's Erste Bank will have their remuneration doubled to a total of Euro 750 000 (for the whole unit). This is not accounting for the attendance fees of around Euro 160 000 they received in the last year. A delicate detail is that the head of the Austrian investor's protection association is among those benefiting from this largess. This highligts one of the main problems of good corporate governance: What are Corporate Boards meant to achieve? In the German tradition the Supervisory Board exists to oversee the company management and defend the interests of the shareholders while in the Anglo-Saxon tradition the board is a mixture of executive managers and non-executives that are elected to advise and supervise management at the same time. In both cases the management - and in particular the CEO - plays a decisive role in appointing board members and therefore to a certain extent controls himself! The same can be said for the setting of compensation which procees on the basis of 'I scratch your back if you scratch mine'.

Starbucks CEO Schultz blames 'speculators' for high coffee prices

Anyone who has visited a Starbucks coffee shop - or any copycat business - will have wondered why the price of a cup of coffee (more often than not served in a cheap plastic cup) is so high. The contribution of the coffee that goes into a cup is minute compared to the price of the finished product. So we were bemused when Howard Schultz, CEO of the Starbucks coffee chain, delivered a rant about speculation in the Commodities Markets. A look at the P&L of the company - and Schultz's extremely generous compensation package - makes it clear that Schultz - and many other commentators - want to pin the blame for high food prices on speculators when long-term economic and demographic factors may in reality be the driving factors behind the recovery of many commodities from a decades-long slump in price.