Last week, Jack Bogle gave a speech on corporate governance to the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (no lion tamers they). As Bogle is the topic's longest-tenured authority, having studied the subject since the late 1940s, this column will mostly present his views (and research). However, I do offer a final thought.
Once upon a time, individual investors dominated the U.S. stock market. In 1945, they possessed 92% of its assets. As Bogle notes, this fact worried contemporary observers. Previously, most American wealth had rested in privately held companies, where the hired hands were closely watched by active, distrustful owners.