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The current credit environment will no doubt put a crimp in the activities of activist hedge funds, draining them of the cheap money that financed buying sprees and board hijackings. Nevertheless, while this could take some punch out of the current shareholder activist movement that has energized the equities markets for the past year, governance experts do not expect it to shut down. “Sarbanes-Oxley focused on the empowerment of the board,” says Mark Watson, managing director of the corporate governance specialist group for Moody’s Investors Service. “Now, we’re seeing the next phase–more power going to shareholders.”

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