From the November 2011 issue of Treasury & Risk magazine

Political-Giving Feedback

Two groups roll out indexes that measure how forthcoming big companies are about their political contributions.

The issue of corporate political contributions has drawn a lot of attention since 2010, when the Supreme Court opened the way for secret political contributions by companies and unions. Shareholder groups are pressing businesses to disclose what they give and warning of the risks involved in making contributions, including damage to corporate reputations, extortion and waste of corporate assets. The response from companies has been mixed. Now two organizations have made an effort to assess how much corporations are revealing about such contributions. An index from Baruch College in New York rates S&P 100 companies on the extent of their disclosures and their policies regarding contributions.

The Baruch index shows 22% of S&P 100 companies disclose little or no information about political expenditures, with the companies that give the most disclosing less than others.

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