According to a highly publicized study released last week, mutual funds are enablers of runaway executive compensations packages because they tend to vote their massive shareholdings in favor of management. Now a second study suggests that not only could funds be voting for management in those situations, they might also be voting more than their fair share.

"Vote Trading and Information Aggregation," an academic study that's been passed around in recent months, reveals that an institutional investor can "borrow" shares for voting day and return them the next. So, for example, a fund with 1,000 shares in a company could borrow shares, either from another shareholder or on the active securities-lending market, and vote as if it held 2,000 shares, MarketWatch columnist Mark Hulbert offered.

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