Robert Eller commented on the post Flawed, Ignorant and Dangerous: A Bain Capital Partner’s Worldview on the Future of Finance blog last week that Edward Conard's book "'Unitended Consequences' may turn out to be the most unintended act of patriotism of the" for the conversations it sparks and lines it draws in the sand on issues of inequality. This has surely proven true on our site this week. Over the week, the blog post John Fullerton wrote on the book has opened up a number of interesting conversations in the comments section.
“At base, having a small elite with vast wealth is good for the poor and the middle class.”
This is how Adam Davidson’s piece in the New York Times Magazine summarized the frustrated former Bain Capital partner Edward Conard’s world view, as expressed in his forthcoming book, Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About the Economy is Wrong.
Capital Institute's work on financial system reform is very much driven by the concept of system resilience.
I spoke last Thursday at the Congressional Progressive Caucus Policy Summit in Baltimore on how our work at Capital Institute might have relevance to the 2012 Congress’s financial reform agenda. These are the hopes I shared for how policy could shape the Future of Finance:
Chet Baker’s warm, presencing voice and trumpet ushered in the inaugural event of Demos’ “Sustainable Progress Initiative” at the public policy research and advocacy group’s Manhattan offices on the night of October 6. The Initiative’s new senior policy analyst Mijin Cha and its director Lew Daly introduced best-selling author and economist Juliet Schor and her plenitude model, and the evening (which was cosponsored by the World Policy Institute) became an exploration of the model’s potential to free up Americans to be present to explore the dimensions of a more meaningful “livelihood.”
Schor’s latest book, released in paperback under the title: True Wealth: How and Why Millions of Americans are Creating A Time Rich, Ecologically Light, Small-Scale, High-Satisfaction Economy, describes the plenitude model, which calls for Americans to work fewer hours and reap the benefits of both “time wealth” and reduced carbon footprints. Schor reports that she wrote True Wealth as a solutions manual, sensing that Americans were yearning for an alternative pathway rather than a dissection of what we all know is a broken economic and social system.
Richard Heinberg’s latest book, The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality, argues for a new economic paradigm. He presents a clear, thorough, and convincing argument that our faith in unrelenting growth and unfettered capitalism has led to the demise of our global economic system. The book is well-cited throughout, encouraging curious readers to dig deeper into the source material that helped shape Heinberg’s case. (He acknowledges in particular our own Capital Institute Founder, John Fullerton, who provided background for the book from his perspective as a former managing director at JP Morgan on how Wall Street has evolved over the past quarter century.)
It is unfortunate that Heinberg’s terms seem harsh, but as a young person who is already concerned with limits to growth, he clarifies that the time is now for an era of qualitative development rather than quantitative growth. The End of Growth appropriately invokes fear and a sense of irreversible urgency but it is all in the cause of productive change towards a more buoyant and adaptable economy.
Field Guide to Investing in a Regenerative Economy: Evergreen Cooperatives
Field Guide to Investing in a Regenerative Economy: Grasslands
"Greenwich, CT, is a long way from the wind-swept prairies where ranchers Jim Howell, Zachary Jones and Tony Malmberg make their homes. But it is perhaps an early indication of how the capital markets' terrain is shifting that the three found themselves in the heart of hedge fund country recently, updating their investment partners in a custom grazing business who were as interested in rural job creation, carbon sequestration and soil enrichment as they were in how increased stocking rates and fatter cattle would enrich them financially." --From "The Grasslands Story"
The new documentary “The Economics of Happiness” draws attention to the ills of globalization in both the developing and developed world, and features a number of friends of Capital Institute, including Juliet Schor and Bill McKibben. The director, Helena Norberg-Hodge, a champion of the localization movement, is the founder and director of the International Society for Ecology and Culture. The film’s pro-localization message is a welcome counterpoint to the pro-globalization mantra we hear from most policymakers these days. However, the well-intentioned “relocalization” strategies that Norberg-Hodge highlights and promotes in this film are likely to provide neither the most effective nor the most realistic solutions in a world increasingly driven by the forces of globalism.