This book provides a detailed historical description of the evolution of corporate governance and stock markets in Brazil in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The analysis details the practices of corporate governance, in particular the rights that shareholders have to restrict the actions of managers, and how that shaped different approaches to corporate finance over time. In the case of Brazil, even if the protections for investors included in national laws were relatively weak before 1940, corporate charters contained a series of provisions that protected minority shareholders against the abuses of large shareholders, managers, or other corporate insiders. The investigation uses the Brazilian case to challenge some of the key findings of a recent literature that argues that legal systems (e.g., common vs. civil law) shape the extent of development of stock and bond markets in different nations.

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