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Shareholder valuations are economically and statistically positively correlated with more powerful independent directors, their power gauged by social network power centrality measures. Sudden deaths of powerful independent directors significantly reduce shareholder value, consistent with independent director power "causing" higher shareholder value. Further empirical tests associate more powerful independent directors with fewer value-destroying M&A bids, more high-powered CEO compensation anddoi:10.3386/w19809 fatcat:mmc4bnybubdbxitlqcsbsm2jom