Money for Nothing: How the Failure of Corporate Boards Is Ruining American Business and Costing Us Trillions

John Gillespie, Author
John Gillespie, Author . Free Press $27 (306p) ISBN 978-1-4165-5993-1
Reviewed on: 11/30/2009
Release date: 01/01/2010
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Gillespie, a former investment banker with Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, and Bear Sterns; and Zweig, business consultant and Salon.com founder, blow the whistle on the insular, apathetic, and dangerously lackadaisical world of corporate boards. Of the world's 200 largest economies, more than half are corporations, whose economic might is matched by their political and environmental sway. While the media highlights misbehaving moguls, boards work behind closed doors, and their substantial impact often goes unnoticed. These boards, described by the authors as predominantly made up of white men in their '60s, make their decisions “based on the fact that it's not their money,” and the trickle-down effect onto ordinary people is enormous. While Gillespie and Zweig sew in just enough juicy tales of mismanagement and scandalous misbehavior, they make a genuine effort to highlight representative issues and portray corporate leadership in all its complexity, instead of as a simplistic morality tale. They take a running jump at solutions and reforms that might help boards work more effectively and ethically. Both thoughtful and lively, this is a fascinating discussion of a little-seen force in corporate America. (Jan.)

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