We can’t all be Noam Chomsky or Ayn Rand or Wendell Berry or Bingo Pajama,¹ but that doesn’t mean each and every one of us can’t get the hint. We need a new story. Maybe even a new myth. We need to rediscover imagination.
The world of investing abides by various rules. Some are defined and articulated in formal legislation and regulations, while others are based on customs, common practices, and opinions expressed by jurists in court cases. The expectation of “prudence” in financial management is one such case.
The idea was simple at the beginning, back in 2006: find a fund in which my clients could invest their money that would finance farms and businesses involved in sustainable agriculture.
Don has served as President & CEO of RSF Social Finance since 2007. He has been a social entrepreneur for many years, growing an education business, a software company, and a sporting goods manufacturer, in addition to the nonprofit Business Alliance for Local Living Economies. Don and the team at RSF are constantly asking the question, “How can we model financial transactions that are direct, transparent, personal, and based on long-term relationships?” Under Don’s leadership, RSF’s total assets have grown to over $160 million.
The impulse to write today comes, as it did a few weeks ago, from two news stories. The first is from Bloomberg, which reported yesterday on mistaken stock trading orders to the tune of $617 billion—yes, that’s billion with a “b”, just like it’s trillion with a “t” when we are talking about the cost of wars and hundreds of “t’s” when we are talking about the cloud of derivatives that blankets the financial heavens.
I was watching the news this morning over my coffee and listening to a brief mention of Quaker lobbying on Capitol Hill for peace initiatives in the Middle East, to which the commentator immediately offered the following knee-jerk, supposedly un-trumpable retort: “But what about ISIS? Isn’t military response to ISIS completely justifiable and needed?” There […]
I arrived at this month’s inaugural Slow Money Canada meeting ready to share an excerpt of Michael Lewis’s new book, Flash Boys. Is there a more stark counterpoint for slow money, a better argument for bringing money back down to earth, than the excesses of high-frequency traders racing to achieve a few-millisecond trading edge?
The recent collapse of Mt. Gox and the “inconvenience,” in its CEO’s words, caused by the disappearance of hundreds of millions of dollars of Bitcoin investors’ money, should make us all think about the history of finance and … organic beets. We invented joint stock companies in 1600, came to what appeared to be an […]
The Chinese New Year is rolling around in February, ushering in the Year of the Snake. It seems only right for us, then, to call 2013, the year in which we push forward with the Soil Trust, the Year of the Earthworm. Here’s how a bunch of us earthworms are getting the year off to […]
We did it! After gestating the idea for quite a while, we have planted the seeds of the Soil Trust firmly in the field of action. A couple of weeks ago we announced the Soil Trust to all of you and we are pleased by the strong interest it generated. A special thank you to […]