Icarus in the Boardroom by David Skeel
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Icarus in the Boardroom
By David Skeel

Icarus in the Boardroom

The Fundamental Flaws in Corporate America and Where They Came from

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Format: Paperback

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Icarus in the Boardroom by David Skeel

Book Description

Americans have always loved risktakers. Like the Icarus of ancient Greek lore, however, even the most talented entrepreneurs can overstep their bounds. All too often, the very qualities that make Icaran executives special- self-confidence, visionary insight, and extreme competitiveness-spur them to take misguided and even illegal chances. The Icaran failure of an ordinary entrepreneur isn't headline news. But put Icarus in the corporate boardroom and, as David Skeel vividly demonstrates, the ripple effects can be profound. Ever since the first large-scale corporations emerged in the nineteenth century, their ability to tap huge amounts of capital and the sheer number of lives they affect has meant that their executives play for far greater stakes. Excessive and sometimes fraudulent risks, competition, and the increasing size and complexity of organizations: these three factors have been at the heart of every corporate breakdown from 1873, when financial genius Jay Cooke collapsed, to the corporate scandals of the early 21st century. Compounding the scandals is an ongoing cat-and-mouse game between regulators' efforts to police the three factors that lead to Icarus Effect failures and efforts by corporate America to evade this regulation in the name of efficiency and flexibility. These efforts to side-step oversight can rapidly spiral out of control, setting the stage for the devastating corporate failures that punctuate American business history. But there is also a silver lining to the stunning failures: the outrage they provoke galvanizes public opinion in favor of corporate reform. The most important American business regulation has always been enacted in response to a major breakdown in corporate America. Today's business environment poses unprecedented perils for the average American as for the first time ever, more than half of Americans now own stock. Identifying the problems of the past, Skeel offers a strikingly new diagnosis of the fundamental flaws in corporate America today, and of what can be done to fix them.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780195310177
ISBN-10: 0195310179
Format: Paperback
(200mm x 130mm x 18mm)
Pages: 264
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 29-Jun-2006
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author David Skeel

When States Go Broke by David Skeel When States Go Broke, Paperback (March 2014)

When States Go Broke discusses the ongoing fiscal crisis among the American states.

Political Heart of Criminal Procedure by David Skeel Political Heart of Criminal Procedure, Paperback (March 2014)

This volume brings together twelve leading American criminal justice scholars whose own writings have been profoundly influenced by William Stuntz and his work.

New Financial Deal by David Skeel New Financial Deal, Hardback (January 2011)

What can we expect from our era's New Deal? To answer this question, The New Financial Deal will begin with an inside account of the legislative process, then outline and access its key components: the new framework for regulating derivatives, the regulation of banking and systemic risk, and the new resolution regime.

» View all books by David Skeel


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Author Biography - David Skeel

David Skeel is the S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Pennsylvania. The author of Debt's Dominion: A History of Bankruptcy Law in America, he is a frequent commentator on corporate legal affairs and his op-eds have appeared in the Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, American Lawyer, and Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Recent books by David Skeel close
When States Go Broke by David Skeel
Political Heart of Criminal Procedure by David Skeel
When States Go Broke by David Skeel
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