Far-Reaching Shareholder Bill of Rights Introduced in Senate

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On May 19, 2009, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced the Shareholder Bill of Rights Act of 2009 (the “Shareholder Bill of Rights”) in the United States Senate.[1] The origins of the Shareholder Bill of Rights are rooted in the current national and global financial and economic crisis, which the bill describes as being caused by “a widespread failure of corporate governance” and “lack of accountability of boards to . . . the shareholders.” The primary goal of the Shareholder Bill of Rights is “[t]o provide shareholders with enhanced authority over the nomination, election, and compensation of public company executives,” and the bill includes a wide-ranging set of corporate governance mandates, including...

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