COVID-19 Is Rewriting the Rules of Corporate Governance

Since the onset of COVID-19, corporate boards have faced a string of difficult decisions. Take the question of dividend payments: Ordinarily, the decision would be a relatively straightforward matter of applying a stated dividend policy, following past practice, or choosing an amount based on shareholder expectations and the company’s earnings for the period. But this year, with COVID-19 decimating the economy and looming uncertainty about the depth and duration of the crisis, the decision became a complex matter of weighing and balancing multiple factors — at least for companies flush enough to consider it at all.

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