In this issue

Editor's Note: Keep Politics Out of the Boardroom

We were traditionally taught that there were two things never discussed in polite company — religion and politics. These were guaranteed to ruin any family Thanksgiving dinner. Why? Because they were naturally divisive — subjects about which every member of any gathering would have widely differing and emotionally charged views. That is why they are best discussed elsewhere. Today we are in the midst of a period of tremendous political controversy and upheaval.

Letter from the Chairman: Service to Our Nation

A new model of capitalism based on the overarching themes of purpose, inclusion, and sustainability is upending the decades old doctrine of shareholder primacy. For over a half century, corporate America has placed priority on providing profitability for its shareholders, which has proven to be highly successful in generating jobs, spurring innovation and enhancing our country’s overall wealth.

Sticking to Business in the Boardroom

Jon Hanson says his first board appointment was likely connected to his politics. Not necessarily because he was a Republican or a Democrat, but because of his relationships. Hanson, the founder and chairman of Hampshire Real Estate Companies, was appointed to the New Jersey Bell (now Verizon) board after serving as finance chairman for Tom Kean’s successful campaign for governor in the early 1980s.

Anyone's Game: This year’s U.S. presidential election will likely be a photo finish. How should boards prepare?

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden perhaps made the understatement of the 2020 presidential election in a school gym a few miles from his home in Greenville, Del. “Well, this is the most unusual campaign, I think, in modern history,” Biden said during a June speech on the coronavirus pandemic. It’s likely that corporate directors are having similar thoughts as the United States reels from a seemingly endless coronavirus outbreak, prolonged civil protests, massive unemployment, deep partisan politics, foreign interference in the election and a recession.

Anyone's Game: If Trump Is Reelected

Incumbents historically have had the best odds of a win. Since 1900 only five incumbents have lost a second-term bid. Economic downturns were afflicting the nation in all five of these political upsets, including that of Gerald Ford, who was never elected but became president after Richard Nixon’s resignation. During this election cycle, America is dealing with the sudden and grand-scale trauma to its economy from a 100-year event sweeping the country — the coronavirus pandemic.

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