Bethany McLean, Reuters columnist, and “Viewpoint” host Eliot Spitzer reference the views of federal Judge Richard Posner of Chicago’s Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals as they consider the issue of corporate governance.
Spitzer asks McLean what role the board of directors should play in corporate governance, bringing up the concept that they should function as “the skunk at a garden party.”
“There’s this weird ethos that’s happened and I don’t know why, but as the rest of the world has gotten less and less civil, the business world has gotten polite almost to the point of dysfunction,” McLean observes. “That old rule that my mother used to tell me — ‘If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’ — it seems to apply across the board. I wish we could bring a little bit of the ugliness of the political debate into the business world because I think that would be healthier.”