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ECGI RESEARCH
03 July 2015  

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See the latest research from the ECGI published in the ECGI Finance Working Paper series
Thu, 23 Apr 2015 10:23 GMT  
ECGI Finance Working Paper 449/2015

by
Eugene Kandel, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, CEPR and ECGI Konstantin Kosenko, Bank of Israel Randall Morck, University of Alberta, NBER and Bank of Canada and ECGI Yishay Yafeh, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, CEPR and ECGI

Submitted by
Yishay Yafeh
Keywords:
Corporate Groups; Corporate Ownership; US Financial History; New Deal

Most listed firms are freestanding in the U.S, while listed firms in other countries often belong to business groups: lasting structures in which listed firms control other listed firms. Hand-collected historical data illuminate how the present ownership structure of the United States arose: (1) Until the mid-20th century, US corporate ownership was unexceptional: large pyramidal groups dominated many industries; (2) About half of these resembled groups elsewhere today in being industrially diversified and family controlled; but the others were tightly focused and had widely held apex firms; (3) US business groups disappeared gradually, primarily in the 1940s, and by 1950 were largely gone; Their demise took place against growing concerns that they posed a threat to competition and even to society; (4) The data link the disappearance of business groups to reforms that targeted them explicitly the Public Utility Holding Company Act (1935) and rising inter-corporate dividend taxation (after 1935), or indirectly enhanced investor protection (after 1934), the Investment Company Act (1940) and escalating estate taxes. Banking reforms and rejuvenated antitrust enforcement may have indirectly contributed too. These reforms, sustained in a lasting anti-big business climate, promoted the dissolution of existing groups and discouraged the formation of new ones. Thus, a multi-pronged reform agenda, sustained by a supportive political climate, created an economy of freestanding firms.


to view details and download this Working Paper from the SSRN website

All ECGI Working Papers in the Law and Finance series are available on the ECGI website at www.ecgi.org/wp
See the latest research from the ECGI published in the ECGI Law Working Paper series
Fri, 15 May 2015 08:32 GMT  
ECGI Law Working Paper 291/2015

by
Eddy Wymeersch, Ghent University and ECGI

Submitted by
Eddy Wymeersch
Keywords:
accountants, auditors, audit standards, ISA, public interest, PIOB, IFAC

Standard setting for accountants and auditors takes places in international bodies, organised within the framework of the International Federation of Accountants. These are the International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) and the ethical standards. External oversight is exercised by the Public Interest Oversight Board, itself monitored by the international financial institutions. The setting of these standards is based on a balance between expert interests, in which professionals play an important role, and external oversight. These self-regulatory standards are addressed to accountants worldwide and are transposed and implemented nationally by different means (legislation, contract, professional associations).


to view details and download this Working Paper from the SSRN website

All ECGI Working Papers in the Law and Finance series are available on the ECGI website at www.ecgi.org/wp