Days after Iran secured relief from economic sanctions under a contentious nuclear deal, the country’s powerful hard-liners are moving to sideline more moderate leaders. Almost two-thirds of the 12,000 candidates who applied to run in next month’s parliamentary elections were either disqualified by Iran’s Guardian Council or withdrew. Reformists say their camp was overwhelmingly targeted, with one saying barely 1% of their applicants had been approved. The disqualifications are poised to escalate long-standing tensions between conservatives and moderates and complicate Western hopes that the nuclear deal will lead to a broader thaw in relations with Iran and spur collaboration on Syria and Yemen. Meanwhile, Iran’s re-entry into the world energy market might be more bearish more quickly than investors expect, while the removal of sanctions could also unleash a wave of aircraft deals.
Ties That Bind
Today most large companies can boast that their boards are overwhelmingly independent under rules laid down by the stock exchanges. Yet some of those independent directors have close ties to the companies and executives they oversee, or to one another. In one case, two directors who serve together have also served on outside committees overseeing each others’ compensation. Board independence, a relatively new concern for U.S. corporations, has received more attention in recent years as activist investors have gotten more powerful. We took a look at the nearly 4,500 men and women who serve on the boards of companies in the S&P 500, including executives holding board seats. See how the biggest U.S. companies stack up in terms of board pay, independence and women directors.
The amount of emergency funding Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder requested from state legislators as he tries to contain the water crisis in Flint, where lead contamination has made the city’s water undrinkable for 100,000 residents.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“He’s got the guts to wear the issues that need to be spoken about on his sleeve.”
Going back to our story above, what are your thoughts on the independence of corporate directors? Send your comments, which we may edit before publication, to email@example.com. Please include your name and location.
—Compiled by Margaret Rawson
Responding to yesterday’s question on computer routers that are vulnerable to hackers, Augusta Era Golian of Texas wrote: “It is not just routers. No company in the industry wants to stand behind their products for the real lifetime of their products, or offer adequate customer support. Customers must be losing an enormous amount of money to planned obsolescence, lack of support, and criminality, but no one seems to care.” Philip Ivanov of New York commented: “The major security threat is the default settings being left untouched. In other words it is akin to folks using 123456 as their Wi-Fi password.” Ray Dillon of Pennsylvania weighed in: “Another example of ‘common sense’ not being so common. At minimum you’ve got to change basic security settings when you install new hardware and software in your system.” And William E. Hall of Virginia added: “This appears to be just one more example where a software or hardware manufacturer is more focused on sales, by being at a desired price point, than they are concerned about selling a quality product. Naturally, this is in response to a consumer who is more interested in price than quality, although for some reason the consumer seems to believe the lowest price product should match the highest price product when it comes to quality.”
This daily briefing is named "The 10-Point" after the nickname conferred by the editors of The Wall Street Journal on the lead column of the legendary "What's News" digest of top stories. Technically, "10-point" referred to the size of the typeface. The type is smaller now but the name lives on.
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