As 'long term' owner of many stocks, I receive many annual reports to read and proxies to vote, particularly this time of year. I don't read them all - that would be a full time job, but I do scan the proxies and cast votes consistent with my general outlook. In short, I do 'walk the walk" and don't just bloviate about shareholder governance.
Here are my general guidelines.
1. Directors - vote against any director not actual owner of 1,000 share at a minimum. This means "OWN", not some phony units or phantom rights or anything else.
2. I vote in favor of cumulative rights, as that can make takeovers easier and can helps get management out of its trenches.
3. I vote in favor of resolutions giving shareholders an advisory vote on executive compensation.
4. I vote against ANY "green" resolutions.
5. I vote for the auditors, if they are a recognized firm.
6. I vote against any compensation plan granting stock options. I favor grants of restricted stock based on operating performance criteria.
7. I vote against any plan involving re-pricing of stock options.
8. IFF I think management is overpaid, I vote against management directors.
9. Other than specifically noted in the items above, I usually vote according to management recommendations.
I'll add more later If I think of them.
The Black List
One can find quite interesting items on the non Anglo-Saxon press, if one can read the language. In French, by the way, The Black List is "La Liste Noire". Oh, and "by the way" in French is "au fait" or "à propos".
So in Le Figaro, I saw the Black List of tax havens of the OECD. And I was quite surprised. Here are the four members - Costa Rica, Uruguay, Philippines and Malaysia. How about that ! These four nations do not respect any international standards for exchanging tax information. Places like the Caymens respect some standards it is on the "Grey List" ["La Liste Grise"].
Hmmm ... a certain loquacious commentor has been singing the praises of the Elysian fields of Costa Rica as paradise on Earth. "Au fait", the words for "tax haven" in French are "paradis fiscal". And it begins to become clear to my why it might seem to be one ;)
All that black cash can certainly make an economy look better than it really is. And the Anglo-Saxon press isn't covering it at all. Fascinating.
I will write on this later, after reading more in depth over the weekend. And after the finance ministers meeting in Prague put some flesh on the skeleton.
Another big day up. The move began in Asia and was due, in my humble opinion, to signs of economic life out there which are not being reported well in the "Anglo-Saxon" press. The clue is the copper price, which is moving up. Iron ore producers seem to have enough demand to keep prices from collapsing in their negotiations with steel producers.
By the way, the ISM numbers shows that steel inventories were low while demand was bottoming. That is bullish.
Huge amounts of cash are on the sidelines and real sellers probably won't be big until Dow 10,000.
Word of the Day
"Exordium" - noun [$10]
Exordium means the beginning or introductory part, esp. of a discourse or treatise.
Sentence: The G20 communiqué to the press is a mere exordium for publicity before any actual agreements are even written. The meeting of finance minsters will determine what, if anything, actually gets done. Eyes should be on Prague now.
Le Mot du Jour
"Constater" - verb, transitive; regular -er conjugation
Constater means to note, to notice, to declare, to take note of; to certify, to establish.
La Phrase: J'ai constaté La Liste Noire des paradis fiscaux dans Le Figaro ce matin. C'était surpris.
Sentence: I noticed the Black List of tax havens in Le Figaro this monring. It was surprising.