Capital Institute Blog

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  • Capitalism ·

The Central Contradiction of Capitalism that Piketty Overlooked

  It is instructive to observe the reaction to the Piketty phenomenon — a 700-page treatise on political economy that became an overnight Amazon bestseller deserving, according to Larry Summers, of a Nobel Prize. It is similarly instructive to note the spectacle of the viral Russell Brand interview with theBBC’s Jeremy Paxman in which Brand pretty much shreds Paxman and calls for revolution. I can’t claim to…
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  • Future of Finance ·

Exclusive Sneak Peek at “Limits to Investment”

Perhaps the most important book missing from the bookshelves of most financiers is Limits to Growth, written in 1972 under the auspices of the Club of Rome. Demonized as neo-Malthusian alarmism when it came out, the book has since sold 12 million copies, been updated three times, each validating the original message, and it
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  • Financial Reform ·

Can We Escape Bank Regulation by Lawsuit?

When I worked at JPMorgan in the 80s and 90s, even in the context of deregulation, the concept of “self-regulation” in the financial industry was discussed with a straight face. Last week, Better Markets, a sophisticated civil society non-profit organization, run by former Skadden attorney Dennis Kelleher and committed to protecting the public interest in the
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  • Climate Change ·

Transcending the Tension between Climate Change and Inequality

This year’s gathering of the World Economic Forum at Davos was kicked off with the reading of a letter from Pope Francis, which ends: “I ask you to ensure that humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it.” One can almost feel the squirming. I recently participated in a roundtable among leading thinkers, activists, and social entrepreneurs on…
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  • Future of Finance ·

Startled by the Clarity of Regeneration

Several years ago, my friend and Capital Institute Advisor Simon Rich introduced a group of us to the hauntingly poetic wisdom of T.S. Eliot: We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.
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  • Divestment ·

Harvard and Brown Fail Moral Leadership Exam

At a time when institutions of business and government continue to fail society, two of our leading academic institutions missed the opportunity to provide essential moral leadership on the most pressing challenge ever faced in the history of human civilization. Harvard President Drew Faust issued her October statement
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  • Financial Reform ·

Are We Not All Jasmines Now?

What is it about a Woody Allen film that leaves us always with a discomforting feeling of identification with its most abysmal character? This is certainly true with his latest film “Blue Jasmine,” which initially disappointed me, Kate Blanchett’s hauntingly brilliant performance notwithstanding. But given a little more time and reflection, its deeply disquieting meaning
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  • Evergreen Direct Investing ·

How Stewardship Investors Can Drive the Great Transition to Regenerative Prosperity

We are pleased to introduce this week’s guest blogger, Tim MacDonald, who is joining Capital Institute as a Senior Fellow. Out of his experience as an attorney organizing partnerships in tax-preferred projects like renewable energy and affordable housing, Tim has crafted a model for stewardship investing that we believe has real potential as an alternative to capital markets
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  • Carbon Bubble ·

Beyond Divestment

Two years ago, students at Swarthmore College began a fossil fuel divestment campaign, initially focused on coal. Last November, 350.org, the grassroots activist NGO dedicated to reducing carbon in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million joined the fight with a nationwide “Do the Math” campus tour. The movement spread to cities, and soon to
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  • Carbon Bubble ·

Why I Marched Against the XL Pipeline

My daughter and I joined an estimated 50,000 demonstrators in Washington, D.C. marching against the XL Pipeline that would connect the Canadian Tar Sands to American refineries.  After a half century on this planet, I took to the streets.  Here’s why. The “business as usual” arguments in favor of building the pipeline as articulated by the liberal and