Tuesday, April 03, 2007

WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future: Time for True Market Reform

Leaving the Gready American Machine .. in the dust!!!!

"China has long rejected the Washington Consensus model and modified it to create its path of a social market economy where markets are seen as 'good servants but bad masters.' Europeans favor the mixed social market economy and now most Latin American countries are rejecting the US formulas in favor of the Chinese and European models. In earlier years, the economies of Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore grew on the Asian model of markets steered and regulated by governments.

Socially–responsible pension fund trustees and mutual fund managers launched the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investing representing over $6 trillion in assets. The Carbon Disclosure Project, representing $31 trillion held by global asset managers demands disclosure of carbon emissions. These financiers are giving new meaning to market reform. (see www.ethicalmarkets.com). They demand that companies in their portfolios also focus on making markets more ethical. They employ the new accounting protocols of the "Triple Bottom Line" that go beyond the traditional single bottom line of profit and also improve their governance, social and environmental performance. This is not surprising since today, bad behavior entails new kinds of risk to companies' stock prices: social, environmental and reputational risk, measured by financial services firms such as Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, Truecost and others.

The Information Age has also morphed in to a new Age of Truth, where a company's reputation, precious brands and stock can be broken in real time by negative postings by global watchdog groups such as Corpwatch.org and Global Exchange. Individual investors, making common cause with labor unions, environmentalists and social justice groups have fueled this new definition of market reform, representing $2.3 trillion in assets in the USA alone. Even the Nobel Committee gave its Peace Prize to Mohammad Yunus, banker to the poor.
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Market reform is coming to mean reforming markets and capitalism itself. Would Adam Smith be surprised? Probably not, since he lauded the dynamism of capitalism. Schumpeter later saw the evolution of markets as "creative destruction," as seen today in the new "disruptive" technologies of cleaner, greener energy and resource-use now challenging coal, oil, and nuclear power. The new values and ethical concerns driving the further evolution of capitalism reflect the new imperatives of the 21st century on our small, endangered planet. Smith's famous "invisible hand" turned out to be our own…not some metaphysical force. Guided by our growing human awareness of what we have wrought on this planet and our potential for further development, all our long-term self-interests are now indivisible . Ethics and morality are becoming the new pragmatism.

HAZEL HENDERSON, futurist,syndicated columnist,author of many books including Ethical Markets: Growing The Green Economy (2007), also co-created the Calvert-Henderson Quality of Life Indicators, updated."

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