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《经济学人》:金色降落伞 Golden Parachutes

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RICH rewards for departing bosses are not popular. After Sir Fred Goodwin led Royal Bank of Scotland into a ditch and dumped the bill on British taxpayers, he left with a pension of over £700,000 ($980,000) a year. The Sun, a tabloid, said he had “screwed the nation”.

离职的老板还领着厚饷总让人难以接受。弗雷德•古德温爵士(Sir Fred Goodwin)把苏格兰皇家银行(Royal Bank of Scotland)推进深坑,继而用英国纳税人的真金白银买单走人之后,居然每年还享有70万英镑(折合98万美元)的退休金。英国小报《太阳报》直陈其“把整个国家都搞砸了”。

Yet golden parachutes have their uses. If well-designed, they align the boss’s interests more closely with those of shareholders. Suppose, for example, a takeover is brewing. Takeovers are usually lucrative for shareholders of the target firm: in America between 1990 and 2008, they have received a median premium of 35%. But the boss’s interests are quite different. If the firm is acquired, he is likely to be fired.

不过金色降落伞条款也并非一无是处。如果妥善拟备该等条款,老板的利益会更紧密地和股东利益协调一致。例如,在拟收购的项目中,该等条款的作用就可见一斑。对于目标公司的股东而言,收购通常会带来丰厚回报:在美国1990年至2008年间的收购项目中,目标公司股东的收益溢价中值为35%。但老板的权益相去甚远;如果公司最终被收购,其可能官位难保。

A golden parachute can persuade the boss not to obstruct a takeover. But their notoriety dissuades firms from using them. Dirk Jenter of Stanford University and Katharina Lewellen of Tuck Business School find that golden parachutes are rarer and stingier than they should be.

妥善的金色降落伞条款可促使老板不为收购设置障碍。但鉴于该条款通常不受欢迎,公司不太会动用。斯坦福大学(Stanford University)的德克•珍特(Dirk Jenter)和塔克商学院(Tuck Business School)的卡特琳娜•卢埃林(Katharina Lewellen)研究认为:金色降落伞条款不应该像现在这般罕见且苛刻。

To test whether bosses block takeovers, they looked at what happens when they are nearing retirement, and therefore have no future career to sacrifice. Using data on American public firms from 1992 to 2008, they found that companies with a boss aged 65 or over were 50% more likely to be taken over.

为核查企业老板是否会因其自身原因选择阻碍收购,这两位学者研究了临近退休的老板(收购的达成不会影响其业已结束的职业生涯)会如何处理收购项目。他们分析了1992年至2008年美国上市公司的数据,结果显示:老板年龄在65岁以上(包括65岁)的公司被收购的可能性高出50%。

Another paper, by Eliezer Fich and Ralph Walkling of Drexel University and Anh Tran of Cass Business School, found that when golden parachutes are larger, proposed mergers are more likely to be completed, but buyers pay less for the shares of the target firm. The data from Mr Jenter and Ms Lewellen show that when the boss of the target firm is old, buyers pay an average premium of 26%. For younger bosses, the premium is 33%. This makes sense. If younger bosses are more reluctant to sell, it will cost more to overcome their objections.

德雷塞尔大学(Drexel University)的埃利泽•芬奇(Eliezer Fich)、拉尔夫•沃克林(Ralph Walkling)与卡斯商学院(Cass Business School)的陈安(Anh Tran)在一篇共同发表的论文中指出:如果金色降落伞的力度增强,拟合并项目达成的可能性更大,但买方就目标公司股份所支付的对价则减少。珍特与卢埃林的统计数据显示:如果目标公司的老板年届退休,买方支付的平均溢价为26%;而对于老板年龄较轻的公司,则为33%。这就说明了问题所在:年轻的老板相对不太愿意售出其公司,所以买方须支付更高溢价以平息其反对意见。

So boards must strike a balance. If the boss’s golden parachute is too miserly, he may block a deal that would benefit shareholders. If it is too generous, he may fail to negotiate hard with potential buyers. As with real parachutes, poor design can have serious consequences.

所以,董事会必须寻求一种平衡。若金色降落伞条款对企业老板过于不利,其可能会干预对股东有利的交易;反之,若金色降落伞条款对其过于优厚,其可能不愿尽心尽力与拟收购方谈判。跟真正的降落伞一样,劣质的金色降落伞所带来的后果可能不堪设想。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
notoriety [.nəutə'raiəti]

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n. 臭名昭著,恶名,声名狼籍

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overcome [.əuvə'kʌm]

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vt. 战胜,克服,(感情等)压倒,使受不了

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popular ['pɔpjulə]

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adj. 流行的,大众的,通俗的,受欢迎的

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generous ['dʒenərəs]

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adj. 慷慨的,宽宏大量的,丰盛的,味浓的

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sacrifice ['sækrifais]

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n. 牺牲,供俸,祭品
vt. 牺牲,祭祀,贱

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reluctant [ri'lʌktənt]

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adj. 不情愿的,勉强的

 
miserly ['maizəli]

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adj. 吝啬的;贪婪的

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strike [straik]

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n. 罢工,打击,殴打
v. 打,撞,罢工,划

 
obstruct [əb'strʌkt]

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v. 阻隔,妨碍,阻塞

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benefit ['benifit]

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n. 利益,津贴,保险金,义卖,义演
vt.

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