The investment industry is changing. Among other things, there is growing demand from both retail and institutional investors to align their capital with better environmental and social outcomes, and more resources going into index fund or quasi-indexing products. These two trends may seem separate—or, some people believe, incompatible—but together I believe they have the power to improve finance’s role in the world. Index funds can be a force for sustainable capitalism.
Yunus has recently written a new book, “A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Net Carbon Emissions,” in which he argues that capitalism is in crisis and remains moored in a flawed conception of human motivation. He proposes a far more robust role in the economy for “social businesses,” which he defines as “non-dividend” companies “dedicated to solving human problems.”
Wall Street has a longstanding reputation for checking its conscience at the door. "Greed is healthy," stock trader Ivan Boesky told a University of California at Berkeley business school class in 1986. The inspiration for Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone's Wall Street, he would later go to prison for insider trading.