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Agency Cost
An agency cost is an economic concept that refers to the costs associated with the relationship between a " principal" (an organization, person or group of persons), and an "agent". The agent is given powers to make decisions on behalf of the principal. However, the two parties may have different incentives and the agent generally has more information. The principal cannot directly ensure that its agent is always acting in its (the principal's) best interests.''Pay Without Performance'' by Lucian Bebchuk and Jesse Fried, Harvard University Press 2004preface and introduction This potential divergence in interests is what gives rise to agency costs. Common examples of this cost include that borne by shareholders (the principal), when corporate management (the agent) buys other companies to expand its power, or spends money on wasteful and unnecessary projects, instead of maximizing the value of the corporation's worth; or by the voters of a politician's district (the principal) when ...
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Economics
Economics () is the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the behaviour and interactions of economic agents and how economies work. Microeconomics analyzes what's viewed as basic elements in the economy, including individual agents and markets, their interactions, and the outcomes of interactions. Individual agents may include, for example, households, firms, buyers, and sellers. Macroeconomics analyzes the economy as a system where production, consumption, saving, and investment interact, and factors affecting it: employment of the resources of labour, capital, and land, currency inflation, economic growth, and public policies that have impact on these elements. Other broad distinctions within economics include those between positive economics, describing "what is", and normative economics, advocating "what ought to be"; between economic theory and applied economics; between rational a ...
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Adolf A
Adolf (also spelt Adolph or Adolphe, Adolfo and when Latinised Adolphus) is a given name used in German-speaking countries, Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Flanders, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Latin America and to a lesser extent in various Central European and East European countries with non-Germanic languages, such as Lithuanian Adolfas and Latvian Ādolfs. Adolphus can also appear as a surname, as in John Adolphus, the English historian. The female forms Adolphine and Adolpha are far more rare than the male names. The name is a compound derived from the Old High German ''Athalwolf'' (or ''Hadulf''), a composition of ''athal'', or ''adal'', meaning "noble" (or '' had(u)''-, meaning "battle, combat"), and ''wolf''. The name is cognate to the Anglo-Saxon name '' Æthelwulf'' (also Eadulf or Eadwulf). The name can also be derived from the ancient Germanic elements "Wald" meaning "power", "brightness" and wolf (Waldwulf). Due to negative associations with Adolf H ...
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Jeffrey Skilling
Jeffrey Keith Skilling (born November 25, 1953) is an American businessman who is best known as the CEO of Enron Corporation during the Enron scandal. In 2006, he was convicted of federal felony charges relating to Enron's collapse and eventually sentenced to 24 years in prison. The US Supreme Court heard arguments in the appeal of the case March 1, 2010."High Court Hears ex-Enron CEO Skilling's Appeal"
by Mark Sherman, Associated Press, via ''yahoo.com'', March 1, 2010 (ran in ''The New York Times'' March 1 or 2, 2010, p. 4 of NY ed., but no longer linked online). Yahoo link retrieved June 9, 2010; info via NYTimes link retrieved 2010-03- ...
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Chief Executive Officer
A chief executive officer (CEO), also known as a central executive officer (CEO), chief administrator officer (CAO) or just chief executive (CE), is one of a number of corporate executives charged with the management of an organization especially an independent legal entity such as a company or nonprofit institution. CEOs find roles in a range of organizations, including public and private corporations, non-profit organizations and even some government organizations (notably state-owned enterprises). The CEO of a corporation or company typically reports to the board of directors and is charged with maximizing the value of the business, which may include maximizing the share price, market share, revenues or another element. In the non-profit and government sector, CEOs typically aim at achieving outcomes related to the organization's mission, usually provided by legislation. CEOs are also frequently assigned the role of main manager of the organization and the highest-ranki ...
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Arthur Andersen
Arthur Andersen was an American accounting firm based in Chicago that provided auditing, tax advising, consulting and other professional services to large corporations. By 2001, it had become one of the world's largest multinational corporations and was one of the "Big Five" accounting firms (along with Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers). The firm collapsed by mid-2002, as details of its questionable accounting practices for energy company Enron and telecommunications company Worldcom were revealed amid the two high-profile bankruptcies. The scandals were a factor in the enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. In 2002, just nine months after the scandal broke, the firm was found guilty of crimes in the auditing of Enron. By that time, Arthur Andersen had lost most of its business and two-thirds of its 28,000 employees, and was facing multi-million dollar lawsuits. On August 31, 2002, the company surrendered its licenses to practice as ...
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Option (finance)
In finance, an option is a contract which conveys to its owner, the ''holder'', the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a specific quantity of an underlying asset or instrument at a specified strike price on or before a specified date, depending on the style of the option. Options are typically acquired by purchase, as a form of compensation, or as part of a complex financial transaction. Thus, they are also a form of asset and have a valuation that may depend on a complex relationship between underlying asset price, time until expiration, market volatility, the risk-free rate of interest, and the strike price of the option. Options may be traded between private parties in ''over-the-counter'' (OTC) transactions, or they may be exchange-traded in live, public markets in the form of standardized contracts. Definition and application An option is a contract that allows the holder the right to buy or sell an underlying asset or financial instrument at a specified st ...
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Enron
Enron Corporation was an American energy, commodities, and services company based in Houston, Texas. It was founded by Kenneth Lay in 1985 as a merger between Lay's Houston Natural Gas and InterNorth, both relatively small regional companies. Before its bankruptcy on December 2, 2001, Enron employed approximately 20,600 staff and was a major electricity, natural gas, communications, and pulp and paper company, with claimed revenues of nearly $101 billion during 2000. ''Fortune'' named Enron "America's Most Innovative Company" for six consecutive years. At the end of 2001, it was revealed that Enron's reported financial condition was sustained by an institutionalized, systematic, and creatively planned accounting fraud, known since as the Enron scandal. Enron has become synonymous with willful corporate fraud and corruption. The scandal also brought into question the accounting practices and activities of many corporations in the United States and was a factor in t ...
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Privity Of Contract
The doctrine of privity of contract is a common law principle which provides that a contract cannot confer rights or impose obligations upon any person who is not a party to the contract. The premise is that only parties to contracts should be able to sue to enforce their rights or claim damages as such. However, the doctrine has proven problematic because of its implications for contracts made for the benefit of third parties who are unable to enforce the obligations of the contracting parties. In England and Wales, the doctrine has been substantially weakened by the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999, which created a statutory exception to privity (enforceable third party rights). Third party rights Privity of contract occurs only between the parties to the contract, most commonly contract of sale of goods or services. Horizontal privity arises when the benefits from a contract are to be given to a third party. Vertical privity involves a contract between two parties ...
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Shareholder Oppression
Shareholder oppression occurs when the majority shareholders in a corporation take action that unfairly prejudices the minority. It most commonly occurs in non-publicly traded companies, because the lack of a public market for shares leaves minority shareholders particularly vulnerable, since minority shareholders cannot escape mistreatment by selling their stock and exiting the corporation. The majority shareholders may harm the economic interests of the minority by refusing to declare dividends or attempting a squeezeout. The majority may physically lock the minority out of the corporate premises and even deny the minority the right to inspect corporate records and books, making it necessary for the minority to sue every time it wants to look at them. An important concept in law pertaining to shareholder oppression is the " reasonable expectations" of the minority shareholder. The " fair dealing" standard is also sometimes used by courts. The potential for shareholder oppression ...
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Standing (law)
In law, standing or ''locus standi'' is a condition that a party seeking a legal remedy must show they have, by demonstrating to the court, sufficient connection to and harm from the law or action challenged to support that party's participation in the case. A party has standing in the following situations: * The party is directly subject to an adverse effect by the statute or action in question, and the harm suffered will continue unless the court grants relief in the form of damages or a finding that the law either does not apply to the party or that the law is void or can be nullified. This is called the "something to lose" doctrine, in which the party has standing because they will be directly harmed by the conditions for which they are asking the court for relief. * The party is not directly harmed by the conditions by which they are petitioning the court for relief but asks for it because the harm involved has some reasonable relation to their situation, and the continued exi ...
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Liquidator (law)
In law, a liquidator is the officer appointed when a company goes into winding-up or liquidation who has responsibility for collecting in all of the assets under such circumstances of the company and settling all claims against the company before putting the company into dissolution. Liquidator is a person officially appointed to 'liquidate' a company or firm. Their duty is to ascertain and settle the liabilities of a company or a firm. If there are any surplus, then those are distributed to the contributories. Origins In English law, the term "liquidator" was first used in the Joint Stock Companies Act 1856. Prior to that time, the equivalent role was fulfilled by "official managers" pursuant to the amendments to the Joint Stock Companies Winding-Up Act 1844 passed in 1848 - 1849. Powers In most jurisdictions, a liquidator's powers are defined by statute. Certain powers are generally exercisable without the requirement of any approvals; others may require sanction, either by ...
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Fiduciary
A fiduciary is a person who holds a legal or ethical relationship of trust with one or more other parties (person or group of persons). Typically, a fiduciary prudently takes care of money or other assets for another person. One party, for example, a corporate trust company or the trust department of a bank, acts in a fiduciary capacity to another party, who, for example, has entrusted funds to the fiduciary for safekeeping or investment. Likewise, financial advisers, financial planners, and asset managers, including managers of pension plans, endowments, and other tax-exempt assets, are considered fiduciaries under applicable statutes and laws. In a fiduciary relationship, one person, in a position of vulnerability, justifiably vests confidence, good faith, reliance, and trust in another whose aid, advice, or protection is sought in some matter... In such a relation, good conscience requires the fiduciary to act at all times for the sole benefit and interest of the one who trus ...
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