Saturday, September 26, 2009

Funding the Green Revolution

I believe in Main Street and am philosophically opposed to Wall Street and what it has become. The financial sector’s purpose should be the reduction of risk and the efficient allocation of capital. Wall Street has failed at both tasks.

Finance is a means to an end, but the financiers of capitalism have turned finance into a profit center that essentially skims more and more out of the Main Street economy and into the pockets of a few. They often add no value yet have manipulated the game for their benefit. Those folks care about money and money only. Don’t expect them to understand the green revolution. I personally don’t believe a publicly-traded company can be sustainable anymore than a rock can fly.

Everywhere you turn, you see rules created by corporate lobbyist and their politicians that protect Wall Street to the detriment of Main Street.

As a result of the rules, Americans have $14 trillion invested in IRAs and 401(k)s with 97 percent (97%!) invested in Wall Street’s stocks, bonds, CDs and money market funds. Just 3 percent of individual retirement funds are invested in alternative assets like real estate, private lending, VC investments, private placements, precious metals, LLCs, international holdings, etc.

How many of us green minded folks would like to defund Wall Street and refund Main Street using our retirement funds? I certainly would and this isn’t an all or nothing proposition. But many people have six figure retirement accounts with their money invested in the very companies who are destroying the planet. Does that make any sense?

In my next post I will disclose an approach we could use to help fund the Green Revolution.

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