SWEDEN: The end of innocence
Business regulation in Sweden has traditionally been governed by a laid-back, consensus approach. But with a global push towards stricter corporate governance Richard Akerman says the time may be up for 'the Swedish way'
The series of US corporate scandals, disproportionately generous bonus systems for company executives, and a steep decline in the Swedish stock market have sparked off an intensive debate regarding corporate governance issues in Sweden. As in the US, many politicians and institutions have called for new, tougher governmental regulations, similar to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the regulations currently being drafted by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). However, understanding the future development of Swedish corporate governance requires not only an understanding of current regulations but also a familiarity with Swedish politics, the historical background to the Swedish business environment, and something that can be best described as ‘the Swedish way’.
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