Working paper series / Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften : Finance & Accounting
Banks and German corporate governance : on the way to a capital market-based system?
Reinhard H. Schmidt
- The German corporate governance system has long been cited as the standard example of an insider-controlled and stakeholder-oriented system. We argue that despite important reforms and substantial changes of individual elements of the German corporate governance system the main characteristics of the traditional German system as a whole are still in place. However, in our opinion the changing role of the big universal banks in the governance undermines the stability of the corporate governance system in Germany. Therefore a breakdown of the traditional system leading to a control vacuum or a fundamental change to a capital market-based system could be in the offing.
Information theory and the role of intermediaries in corporate governance
Reinhard H. Schmidt
- We investigate the connection between corporate governance system configurations and the role of intermediaries in the respective systems from a informational perspective. Building on the economics of information we show that it is meaningful to distinguish between internalisation and externalisation as two fundamentally different ways of dealing with information in corporate governance systems. This lays the groundwork for a description of two types of corporate governance systems, i.e. insider control system and outsider control system, in which we focus on the distinctive role of intermediaries in the production and use of information. It will be argued that internalisation is the prevailing mode of information processing in insider control system while externalisation dominates in outsider control system. We also discuss shortly the interrelations between the prevailing corporate governance system and types of activities or industry structures supported.