In the past two years, the popular press, for good reason, has railed against the lack of regulation, systemic failures, and rampant conflicts of interest that led to the recent financial crisis. Securitized products, and derivatives of those products, have been featured prominently as analysts, academics, and legislators assign blame for the bank failures and the market turmoil of the past two years.
This blog entry explores how existing financial products and tools can be used to serve the public good. The premise is that innovations in finance can be just as relevant to enterprising nonprofits and social purpose businesses as they are to traditional for profit corporations. This is especially true as social enterprises seek access to new capital to finance growth.
Last night, as my wife and I sat in a crowded movie theater waiting for District 9 to get under way, a giant David Suzuki popped up on the Cineplex screen to remind returning students to be environmentally conscious as they amass notebooks, laptops and stationary before labor day. Sure enough, we were drawn into discussing the David Suzuki Foundation (to the chagrin of the folks sitting next to us who were actually trying to watch the previews), and wondered why investors couldn’t get input from someone like Dr. Suzuki when making environmentally conscious investment decisions.