THE FUTURE OF FINANCE

Welcome to “The Future of Finance.” Here we grapple with the critical challenges we face as we seek to transform our economy and our financial system in ways that bring into being a more just society and a truly sustainable way of living on this earth.

THE FUTURE OF FINANCE BLOG

Judith Samuelson: Professor Lynn Stout, A Legacy

April 22, 2018

The following excerpt was written by The Aspen Institute’s Judith Samuelson in memory of Lynn Stout, Distinguished Professor of Corporate Business Law at Cornell Law School. Click below to read Judith’s full piece. “It’s all a question of story. We are in trouble just now because we do not have a good story. We are in between stories. The Old Story—the account of...Read more

The Character of Our Technology

January 31, 2018

“We can’t influence the direction of technology, but we can influence its character,” says Kevin Kelly, founder of WIRED, in a recent interview with Krista Tippett. A quarter-century ago, financial derivatives technology, enabled by the emergent technology of distributed computing, was about to transform finance and global capital markets forever. The rise of derivatives technology made profound contributions to the...Read more

Tax Reform: A Real Cohn Job

December 13, 2017

It seems that Gary Cohn, a trader and former heir apparent at Goldman Sachs—a life-long Democrat, let’s recall—and Trump’s current chief economic advisor, is heading for an early exit. After whiffing on his near-decision to resign on principle when Trump equated the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville with the demonstrators resisting the torch march, he naturally fell out of favor with Trump...Read more

Fix (Don’t Flush) the Estate Tax

October 31, 2017

“The external glitter of wealth conceals a corrupt political core that reflects the growing gap between the very few rich and the very many poor.” – Mark Twain, The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today (1873) The Estate Tax, or a tax on wealth passed onto heirs, is not unique to America, but many OECD countries have no such...Read more

Dear Cities: Resist Amazon’s HQ2

September 30, 2017

There is something untoward about the feeding frenzy we are witnessing as cities across the country vie to be the site of Amazon’s second headquarters (“HQ2”). Amazon, after all, is the poster child for driving, first, independent booksellers and then retailers out of business, hollowing out communities across America. It is considered a meat grinder for white-collar workers who churn...Read more

From Paris to Drawdown

June 7, 2017

Yes, it was a shameful poke in the world’s eye by the dangerously narcissistic, temporary occupant of the White House. Like other unconscionable and unfathomable acts of the early 21st century—a period of historic great change already—Trump’s pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement has sent me searching for the deeper meaning of it all, while the pundits flail...Read more

March for Science — Really?

May 2, 2017

How is it possible that in America, on the 47th anniversary of Earth Day, it was concluded that our situation was so dire that what was needed was not just a march for aggressive climate policies, but rather a “March for Science” itself? Small-minded, corrupt, and power hungry state governors banning the mere use of the phrase...Read more

Shifting From Parts to Patterns

April 4, 2017

“All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions.” – Leonardo Da Vinci I had the pleasure of hearing my friend Nora Bateson speak last week at The Players Club in New York City where she held a reading and conversation around her recently published book, Small Arcs of Larger Circles: Framing Through Other Patterns. If that title slows you...Read more

Hell No!

February 28, 2017

Sustainability icon and Unilever CEO Paul Polman made his feelings crystal clear on the unsolicited merger offer last week by Kraft Heinz, backed by the Brazilian cost-cutters at 3G Capital and their partner Warren Buffett:  the proposed deal, Unilever said, “had no merit, either financial or strategic.”  Ouch. I recall early in Polman’s CEO tenure hearing him say there...Read more

Broken Trust

January 27, 2017

At this year’s World Economic Forum gathering in Davos, Switzerland, PR firm Edelman shared its comprehensive annual Trust Barometer, confirming what we all know: global trust in institutions and leaders is at an all-time low.  Fully two-thirds of countries are now considered “distrusters” (under 50% trust in the mainstream institutions of business, government, media and NGOs to do what is right),...Read more

City States Rising!

December 29, 2016

Globalism’s associated and accelerating complexity of interconnected crises from migration to terrorism, from pandemics to climate change, define the new context of our 21st-century reality.  Unmanaged technological change and an outdated economic ideology compound the already unfair burden these crises impose on global citizens.  One need only consider the 18 percent approval rating of the United States Congress, the recent...Read more

President-Elect Trump: A Gift?

November 10, 2016

Imagine if you can, Donald Trump has arrived as a gift, to illuminate for us the American “shadow” at this pivotal moment in history. The Swiss Psychiatrist C.G. Jung refers to “the shadow” as the dark side of one’s self. The shadow, Jung wrote in 1963, “is that hidden, repressed, for the most part inferior and guilt-laden” aspect of...Read more