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The Economist: Muck, Brass and Spleen

An oil giant’s shareholders flex their muscles

MOST firms’ annual general meetings (AGMs) owe more to North Korea than ancient Greece. By long-standing tradition, bosses make platitudinous speeches, listen to lone dissidents with the air of psychiatric nurses towards patients and wait for their own proposals to be rubber-stamped by the proxy votes of obedient institutional investors. According to Manifest, a shareholder-advice firm, 97% of votes cast across Europe last year backed management.

May 21st 2009
From The Economist print edition


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