As scandal after scandal have unfolded on Wall Street this year, and investors have become increasingly frightened, some industry officials have called for mutual funds to act as shareholder advocates. In other words, to protect investors from those rascals over at the corporations who are spending shareholder's cash on posh executive suites - and then declaring bankruptcy.
But when the economy and markets recover, will fund companies continue to serve as advocates for shareholders when it comes to corporate governance? Is it likely that the fund industry will willingly disclose its shareholder proxy votes (see related story, page 1). The answer to both questions is, probably not.