Ignoring the Writing on the Wall: The Role of Enterprise Risk Management in the Economic Crisis

Journal of Business and Technology Law, Vol. 5, p. 45, 2010

14 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2009 Last revised: 10 Mar 2010

Michelle M. Harner

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Date Written: October 15, 2009

Abstract

Enterprise risk management (ERM) targets overall corporate strategy and, when implemented correctly, can manage a corporation’s risk appetite and exposure. When ignored or underutilized, it can contribute to a corporation’s demise. In fact, many commentators point to ERM failures as contributing to the severity of the 2008 economic crisis. This essay examines the different approaches to ERM adopted by financial institutions affected by the 2008 economic crisis and how ERM contributed to the survival or failure of those firms. It then considers ERM in the broader context of corporate governance generally. This discussion reflects on ERM techniques for corporate boards and whether boards do or should have a duty to implement an effective ERM program. The essay concludes by encouraging boards, stakeholders, and policymakers to give more attention to ERM programs.

Keywords: risk management, corporate governance, duty of care, Caremark, duty of loyalty, fiduciary duties, boards of directors

JEL Classification: K22, L20

Suggested Citation

Harner, Michelle M., Ignoring the Writing on the Wall: The Role of Enterprise Risk Management in the Economic Crisis (October 15, 2009). Journal of Business and Technology Law, Vol. 5, p. 45, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1489586

Michelle M. Harner (Contact Author)

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law ( email )

500 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-1786
United States
410-706-4238 (Phone)

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