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考研英语阅读理解文章24-Staggering

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发表于 2017-3-30 07:00:00 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Staggering
Things are slow to change in America's boardrooms


THE annual review of American company board practices by Korn/Ferry, a firm of headhunters, is a useful indicator of the health of corporate governance. This year's review, published on November 12th, shows that the Sarbanes-Oxley act, passed in 2002 to try to prevent a repeat of corporate collapses such as Enron's and WorldCom's, has had an impact on the boardroom--albeit at an average implementation cost that Korn/Ferry estimates at $5.1m per firm.


Two years ago, only 41% of American firms said they regularly held meetings of directors without their chief executive present; this year the figure was 93%. But some things have been surprisingly unaffected by the backlash against corporate scandals. For example, despite a growing feeling that former chief executives should not sit on their company's board, the percentage of American firms where they do has actually edged up, from 23% in 2003 to 25% in 2004.


Also, disappointingly few firms have split the jobs of chairman and chief executive. Another survey of American boards published this week, by A.T. Kearney, a firm of consultants, found that in 2002 14% of the boards of S&P 500 firms had separated the roles, and a further 16% said they planned to do so. But by 2004 only 23% overall had taken the plunge. A survey earlier in the year by consultants at McKinsey found that 70% of American directors and investors supported the idea of splitting the jobs, which is standard practice in Europe.


Another disappointment is the slow progress in abolishing "staggered" boards--ones where only one-third of the directors are up for re-election each year, to three-year terms. Invented as a defence against takeover, such boards, according to a new Harvard Law School study by Lucian Bebchuk and Alma Cohen, are unambiguously "associated with an economically significant reduction in firm value".


Despite this, the percentage of S&P 500 firms with staggered boards has fallen only slightly--from 63% in 2001 to 60% in 2003, according to the Investor Responsibility Research Centre. And many of those firms that have been forced by shareholders to abolish the system are doing so only slowly. Merck, a pharmaceutical company in trouble over the possible side-effects of its arthritis drug Vioxx, is allowing its directors to run their full term before introducing a system in which they are all re-elected (or otherwise) annually. Other companies' staggered boards are entrenched in their corporate charters, which cannot be amended by a shareholders' vote. Anyone who expected the scandals of 2001 to bring about rapid change in the balance of power between managers and owners was, at best, naive.
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Economist; 11/13/2004, Vol. 373 Issue 8401, p67-67, 4/9p
注(1):本文选自Economist;11/13/2004, p67-67, 4/9p;
注(2):本文习题命题模仿1998年真题text 1第2题(1),2002年真题text 2第2题(2),text 5第3题(3),2004年真题text 4第2题(4)和1999年真题text 1第4题(5);


1.The Sarbanes-Oxley act is most probably about_________.
[A] corporate scandal
[B] corporate management
[C] corporate cost
[D] corporate governance


2.The word “backlash” (Line 3, Paragraph 2) most probably means_________.
[A] a violent force
[B] a strong impetus
[C] a firm measure
[D] a strong negative reaction


3.According to the text, separating the roles between chairman and chief executive is________.
[A] a common practice in American companies
[B] what many European companies do
[C] a must to keep the health of a company
[D] not a popular idea among American entrepreneurs


4.We learn from the text that a "staggered" board________.
[A] is adverse to the increment of firm value
[B] gives its board members too much power
[C] has been abolished by most American companies
[D] can be voted down by shareholders


5.Toward the board practice of American companies, the writer’s attitude can be said to be________.
[A] biased
[B] pessimistic
[C] objective
[D] critical


篇章剖析
本篇文章是一篇议论文,对美国公司的董事会变化缓慢的情况提出了批评。第一段引用一家猎头公司的年度评论说明一项旨在防止公司财务丑闻的法案已经对美国公司的董事会产生了影响;在第二段作者笔锋一转,说明虽然公司丑闻对于公司董事会的做法产生了一些影响,但仍然有一些方面毫无变化或者变化缓慢。接下来作者分析了几种典型的情况;三段指出了一些公司董事和总裁职务不分的情况;第四断指出一些公司在废除“交错董事任期”的董事会方面进展缓慢;第五段以具体的例子对上述情况加以说明并得出结论:要改变职业经理人和公司所有人之间的权力平衡并非一蹴而就之事。


词汇注释
headhunter n. 用高薪征聘人才者
governance n. 治理;管理
boardroom n. (董事会)会议室
albeit conj. 虽然
backlash n. 激烈反应,激烈反对对一个较早行动的对抗性反应
take the plunge: 冒险,采取断然行动
staggered adj. 交错的
unambiguously adv. 明白地,不含糊地
pharmaceutical adj. 制药的;调药的
arthritis n. 关节炎
entrench v. 保护
amend v. 改正;修改


难句突破
Merck, a pharmaceutical company in trouble over the possible side-effects of its arthritis drug Vioxx, is allowing its directors to run their full term before introducing a system in which they are all re-elected (or otherwise) annually.
主体句式:Merck is allowing its directors to run their full term
结构分析:这是一个复杂句,句子的主语之后又一个较长的同位语短语,句子中还有一个before引导的状语,在这个状语中含有一个which引导的定语从句。before在这种情况下通常译为“才”。
句子译文:因为所生产的关节炎药物Vioxx的潜在副作用而陷入困境的默克制药公司现在允许其董事任期直到届满,然后才会引入一个每年将所有人重新选任一遍(或者别的方法)的制度。


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发表于 2017-8-23 23:11:02 | 显示全部楼层
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