How America Can Get The `Patient' Capital It Needs

In a business world beset by a nagging recession, precarious leverage levels, and stiffening competition, corporate governance doesn't exactly weigh heavily on the minds of most executives. Theoretically, it might be nice to improve the interaction among investors who provide capital, corporations that use it, and directors who oversee its use. But right now, there are more important things to do. Besides, shareholders who get too involved with corporate affairs can be irritating--as Time Warner Inc.'s managers, for example, learned last July, when they were forced to revise their $3 billion stock plan.

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