Gleanings

Cost-of-capital is central to economists’ thinking about how firms should (and do) invest their financial capital, and to measuring the value of a firm. Brent Hueth will argue that the cost of “equity” capital for many co-operative businesses is, if not zero, then close to it. He will interpret the relevance of this finding in the context of private capital structure and investment decision making, as well as public tax and regulatory treatment of co-operatives.

Relatively little attention has been paid to democratic and critical approaches that look into the embedded power dynamics that influence who is allowed access to organizational decision making: whose voices get heard and whose get left out. Where practice is concerned, we see a “democratic deficit” in board governance—that is, an absence of democratic structures and processes.1 Many nonprofit boards fall short of being broadly representative of the public.

It is becoming increasingly obvious to people that profit maximization has very little to do with meeting actual human or ecological needs. According to the Economic Policy Institute and other researchers, corporate profits and worker productivity rise independently of workers' real wages. And increases in corporate profit are more likely to enrich shareholders than to be reinvested in new jobs with good wages. We need better ways of doing business.

Shared-equity homeownership programs just had a big win: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (“the Enterprises”) committed in their Underserved Markets Plans to increase access to mortgages for shared-equity homebuyers over the next three years.

It’s 1939 and a group of famous civil rights leaders are gathering to discuss the future of the Negro race…and you’re invited.

In an increasingly competitive grocery market, it is common to recruit and train with a focus on business acumen. A prudent board will hire management who have the skills to run the business. The question remains, how is managing a cooperative business different? 

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