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Bloodsport: When Ruthless Dealmakers, Shrewd Ideologues, and Brawling Lawyers Toppled the Corporate Establishment by Robert Teitelman

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Chapter Five

CHICAGO’S UNFAITHFUL SERVANTS

IN ADDITION TO hostile takeovers and chronic stagflation, the mid-1970s witnessed the discovery—or rediscovery—of corporate governance.1 This was not as much fun as finding one’s mojo, a popular ’70s pastime, but it had more intellectual cachet. Adolf Berle died in 1976, just in time for the SEC to realize that corporate accountability might be part of its mission. Berle never used the term corporate governance, although it posthumously attached itself to his name. The term first turned up in the New York Times in December 1972, in an article about shareholder suits against directors provoked by the Penn Central bankruptcy.2 It resurfaced five years later in association with a project from activists ...

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