Why Stock Market Short-Termism Is Not the Problem in the US (or the EU)

review of Mark Roe’s recent book

Mark Roe, one of the most prominent voices in the short-termism debate, recently wrote an excellent book on “Missing the Target. Why Stock Market Short-Termism Is Not the Problem”. Roe defines short-termism as “overvaluing current corporate results at the expense of future profits and well-being”. The key message of the book is that blaming stock-market short-termism for societal problems is a widely held and politically attractive view, but one that is not supported by the academic evidence. Roe argues that many of those who blame stock markets for being short-termist “miss the target”, as the societal problems they identify are caused by other factors than stock-market short-termism.

Below, I summarize the different chapters of the book and reflect on its contributions to the short-termism debate. Those who are triggered by the views of Mark Roe on the short-termism debate are welcome to attend the (free and hybrid in person/online) workshop of 18 May (6-8 pm), organized by the Jean-Pierre Blumberg Chair, where Mark Roe will discuss the role of external stakeholders in the short-termism debate.

Summary of the book

Continue readingWhy Stock Market Short-Termism Is Not the Problem in the US (or the EU)

Short-termism in Belgian corporate governance

A teaser of the opening lecture of Tom Vos on 21 February, 6-8 pm

“The finance world’s short-termism will destroy our communities, economies and the planet” (Sasja Beslik, World Economic Forum, 2017).

“Short-termism […] is one of the greatest threats to America’s enduring prosperity” (Joe Biden, Wall Street Journal, 2016)

These quotes illustrate that stock-market short-termism is considered a big problem. But is short-termism really a problem in Belgium? And what elements of corporate governance encourage or discourage short-termist behavior? If it is a problem, what governance reforms should we consider? 

I discuss these questions on 21 February (6-8 pm) during an opening lecture for a course at the University of Antwerp on short-termism in Belgian corporate governance. Below, I already offer a teaser of this lecture.

Continue reading “Short-termism in Belgian corporate governance”

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