The New Mutualism in Public Policy (Routledge Studies in by Johnston Birchall

By Johnston Birchall

Mutuality has develop into a subject matter of dialogue lately for an entire diversity of teachers and social commentators. The 'demutualisation' of banks and construction societies has been partnered by way of the assumption of a 'new mutualism' , forming a suite of social values and ideology, and this assortment seems on the manifestations of those tendencies and the results for the longer term.

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This may in itself provide an incentive towards conversion, allied to the fact that managers are likely to be offered share options that will be relatively more attractive the greater the residual degree of ‘managerial slack’ within the building society (as the society may be correspondingly undervalued by the market on conversion). 4 There is no reason to presume that the recent pace of conversion announcements within the UK building society industry will continue. It is already clear, however, that there is a tendency for the largest building societies to opt for the conversion route, which is entirely in line with the previous arguments.

And Means, G. (1932) The Modern Corporation and Private Property, New York, Macmillan. The economics of mutuality: UK building societies 39 Blair, D. and Placone, D. (1988) ‘Expense Preference Behaviour, Agency Costs and Firm Organization’, Journal of Economics and Business, 40, pp. 1–15. Boxall, A. and Gallagher, N. (1997) ‘Mutuality at the Crossroads’, Financial Stability Review, October. Cyert, R. and March, J. (1963) A Behavioural Theory of the Firm, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Drake, L.

A further important contribution to the analysis of agency costs in mutual and stock S & Ls comes from the work of Hermalin and Wallace (1994). Their analysis is one of the few pieces of empirical work in this area to recognise explicitly the two dimensions of the agency problem outlined earlier: specifically, the standard agency problem of lack of effective owner monitoring (typically asserted to be more severe in mutuals), and the problem of asset substitution, which would be expected to be prevalent in stock financial institutions rather than mutuals.

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