Regulators have been working full tilt, and not just in the international market. The various ongoing initiatives in Brazil are meant not so much as a reaction to the 2008 financial crisis, but rather as new advances in the country's capital market development.
Most prominent among them is the proposed reform to the BM&FBovespa's special listing tiers. The goal is to raise corporate governance one level higher, starting by the correction of certain distortions created in recent years. As an example, entrenched clauses that impose shareholder obligations – but cannot be changed by those shareholders – create authoritarian and ineffective constraints in a time of globalized economies and companies.
Also in progress is the self-regulation code by the Brazilian Association of Public Companies (Abrasca) which, broadly speaking, proposes to expand board responsibilities. The institution is planning to apply the modern "comply or explain" system, enabling companies to follow the code without full compliance, as long as they explain why.
An independent commission for mergers and acquisitions is also in the works, based on the U.K.'s Takeover Panel. The organization is intended to reduce controller/minority conflict in such operations and strengthen market security. Compliance will also be voluntary in this case.
It's worthy of notice that the capital market's pro-governance initiatives have been aiming for voluntary adhesion. Their focus on self-regulation by privately held institutions – as opposed to government enforcement – is a very good thing. This is the same tendency observed in the international scenario, as shown in this issue's special supplement on corporate governance, The self-regulation approach believes in the market's capability of making its own choices and finding a sustainable balance. It feels more real than a supposedly perfect model shoved down companies' throats.