Week in Review
This Week at Capital Institute
Capital Institute founder and president John Fullerton recently sat down with Laura Flanders of GRITtv to discussed the carbon crisis, fossil fuels and finance.
We were honored to be included in David Brodwin's recent U.S. News & World Report piece about the release of the fifth case study in our Field Guide to Investing in a Regenerative Economy initiative. Read his take on Evergreen Direct Investing below or here.
No More Debt Binges: How to Finance a Sustainable Economy
By David Brodwin
At The Universities for a New Economy Conference held at the New School held in May 2013, we had a chance to share insights gleaned from recent conversations with Scott Fullwiler and Steve Crane, two professors at Presidio Graduate School's pioneering MBA in Sustainable Management Program. Both professors know their students need to be conversant in the old language of modern finance but they also want them to be fluent in a new vocabulary of holistic finance that acknowledges that some of the most critical values to be considered by anyone who cares about an investable future will often elude measurement.
A year and a half ago when we spoke to Gar Alperovitz for our Braintrust series on thought leaders who have most influenced us at Capital Institute, he began the conversation by asking, “If you are not a fan of either socialism or corporate capitalism, what are your alternatives and how do you get there?” Gar’s new book, What Then Must We Do? and his film, The Next American Revolution, go a long, thought-provoking way toward answering those vexing questions.
I first “met” Dan O’Neill in the spring of 2009 when I was researching an article for the New York Society of Security Analysts about Herman Daly and his groundbreaking vision of the steady state economy. At the time Dan was the European director of the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE) and a postgraduate research student at the University of Leeds. He introduced me to the nuances of the ecological footprint and we talked about what it might mean for an economy to approach a “steady”—prosperous, nongrowing—state.
Dan, currently a lecturer in ecological economics at the University of Leeds, and Rob Dieitz, first director of the CASSE and editor of the Daly News, have now co-authored Enough is Enough, a collection of not-so-modest proposals for achieving the steady state.
Capital Institute friend Tim MacDonald of Stonebridge Partnership called our attention last week to a rousing pension fund “call to action” issued by Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, at the Fiduciary Investor Symposium held in Santa Monica last month.
James Galbraith and Dean Baker have praised Eric Laursen’s new book, The People’s Pension, for its riveting account of the history of the social security system and the ongoing wars around it. But what caught our attention at Capital Institute was Laursen’s intriguing argument that social security should be viewed as a living and ever evolving program that can be revitalized to serve as a vehicle for democratizing investment in a more sustainable, placed-based economy. As David Graeber of the Occupy Wall Street Movement says, The People’s Pension could enable “a fundamental change in public thinking about the very nature of public goods.”