Banks occupy a central position in society and the economy. People have passionate opinions about them – some arguably misguided, some appropriately challenging. I hope to do three things here that might enhance public debate.
First, I want to offer a conceptual model and some vocabulary – tools I find useful for talking about enterprise generally. Second, I wish to suggest that the objective a typical bank board pursues is a balanced response to stakeholder claims – as opposed, that is, to maximizing the wealth of one class of stakeholders. Finally, I will discuss the matter of worthy causes clamoring for board attention. My personal view is that they cannot be wholly dismissed. What am I trying to accomplish? Brain-stretching.