Capital Institute Blog

  • Financial Reform ·

An Agenda for Genuine Financial Reform

Photo by Angel Evangeline on Unsplash: https://unsplash.com/photos/lIYoJZwXy2U   In this final act, Act IV of my booklet Finance for a Regenerative World, I argue that finance must be transformed for the primary purpose of serving the emergence of regenerative economies. A truly effective policy framework for financial reform must be designed with this vision and these goals in mind, and…
  • Future of Finance ·

2020: Inflection Point

By now it is clear: 2020 represents a new phase in the monumental transformation of the human project. History will judge its ramifications as more profound than the agricultural, industrial, or information revolutions, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Civil Rights and Woman’s Rights Movements. Perhaps greater than all of these combined. For now, a sixth great extinction is underway, this…
  • Future of Finance ·

A Multisystemic Response to Covid-19

“We can’t predict when, but given the continual emergence of new pathogens, the increasing risk of a bioterror attack, and the ever-increasing connectedness of our world, there is a significant probability that a large and lethal modern-day pandemic will occur in our lifetime.” – Bill Gates, 2018 The Covid-19 pandemic is upon us.  It is a multisystemic crisis, spinning out of…
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  • Carbon Bubble ·

The Big Choice

– A $20 trillion “externality” appears to present civilization with its BIG CHOICE: economic destruction or ecological destruction, both with chilling global security implications.  Here’s why, along with a practical and more hopeful alternative to “Sophie’s Choice.” Carbon Tracker has released an illuminating report
  • Future of Finance ·

“We’re Done!” How’s that for a Purpose Statement?

“We’re done.”  With those words, Ed Stack, the CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods demonstrated what principled leadership looks like.  No purpose statement necessary.  No “business case for sustainability” discussion.  No ESG debate. A clear ethical choice presented itself and he acted.  Dick’s destroyed $5million of assault rifles on the spot to keep them off the streets once Stack learned that…
  • #GREENWISH ·

#Greenwish

#GREENWISH Greetings, No doubt you have noticed my blog has gone on sabbatical. There are two reasons for this. First, I am working on releasing the final sections of “Finance for a Regenerative World,” the four Act complement to my 2015 paper, “Regenerative Capitalism,” while also embarking on a new book project. And second, to be honest, the unfolding of our political and ecological…
  • Financial Crisis ·

An Open Letter to Finance

Ten years have passed since the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank allowed Lehman Brothers to file for bankruptcy, attempting to signal to the market that no firm is too big or important to fail. That mistaken belief triggered panic across the global financial system. The next day, a chastened Fed decided to rescue AIG, the insurance colossus ensnarled in a credit…
  • Future of Finance ·

Judith Samuelson: Professor Lynn Stout, A Legacy

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…
  • Derivatives ·

The Character of Our Technology

“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…
  • Estate Tax ·

Tax Reform: A Real Cohn Job

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…
  • Estate Tax ·

Fix (Don’t Flush) the Estate Tax

“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 tax.…
  • Future of Finance ·

From Paris to Drawdown

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 away.…
  • Encyclical ·

March for Science — Really?

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 “climate change” in…
  • Complexity ·

Shifting From Parts to Patterns

“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…