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Crisis as usual
Is the present crisis so different from others? No future, the end of the world, the end of the free enterprise economy, the end of (employee) ownership? As usual, the biggest crisis we've ever seen. As usual doomsayers and happiness mongers as well. As usual most were surprised while many had predicted. As usual bankruptcies, scandals, even surprising frauds, some billionaires suicides. Gesticulations as usual  and reflection. As usual some cry for freedom while others for more regulation. As usual, many look backwards while some look forwards. Get here a long-term vision of financial crisises 1929-2008

Restructuring and rescuing distressed companies
Bailout plans are multiplying, involving employee ownership. However, all companies cannot be saved. Last month, Tribune Company went bankruptcy in the USA. One year ago, it was acquired through an ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) for 8.4 billion dollars. Tribune employees won't be losing anything from the company's employee ownership stock plan. However a bad story for ESOPs. What about the automotive crisis? Is employee ownership the future of automotive companies? Which future for employee ownership? This is a new big debate in the US. After the ESOP Foundation launched its "Employee Ownership Blog" some months ago, it is now turn for the US National Center for Employee Ownership. Both blogs give the opportunity to some of the most experienced experts to discuss the point: Michael Keeling, Corey Rosen, John Logue and John Hoffmire

Faux pas at the European Commission
The recent call for proposals concerning employee ownership was corrupted. A double complaint was addressed to the European Ombudsman. Detailed information

Press review

Much new information about employee ownership in December 2008, with 1.130 articles in this press review (on which 313 involving stock options and 214 about workers' cooperatives). We made a selection of  47 remarkable articles in 15 countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, UK, USA, Zambia.
Austria: The new government seems giving lower attention to employee ownership compared to its predecessor.
Germany: IG Metall union calls for employee ownership in the context of the automotive crisis.
France: 67% of all large French groups are already preparing new employee share plans for 2009. No crisis for employee savings which increased strongly in October. A first benchmark for employee savings accounts. Success for new employee share plans in large groups: Vallourec, Vinci; however Rexel postpones. New workers cooperatives for bailouts: Cepam, Couture Venise Verte.
Ireland: Ryanair looks for employee owners' support for its takeover bid on Aer Lingus.
Spain: The legislation on employee-owned companies should be corrected.
UK: What now for stock options under water? Going to a repricing wave?
USA: Three main topics in the US, while the National Center for Employee Ownership is launching its new "employee ownership blog": Tribune bankruptcy, employee ownership to face the Auto crisis, and a repricing wave for stock options. Following Corey Rosen, at least Tribune employees won't be losing anything from the company's employee ownership stock plan.

The press review is available on:

A political roadmap for employee ownership in Europe

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   With best regards



Marc Mathieu
Secretary General
Avenue Voltaire 135, B-1030 Brussels
Tel/fax: +32 (0)2 242 64 30
Web site:
EFES' objective is to act as the umbrella organization of employee owners, companies and all persons, trade unions, experts, researchers, institutions looking to promote employee ownership and participation in Europe.

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