Posts Categorized ‘Economic’

Green Bonds: Birth of a Sector
By Mel Miller

The Sustainable, Responsible, Impact (SRI) investing movement is definitely in the growth stage as more and more investors are convinced that climate change is a “real and present” danger. Until 2008, fixed income investors did not have an investment product whereby they could directly invest in specific corporate projects designed to benefit sustainability. Prior to Read more »

Posted: August 7, 2014

Climate Change Risks and Opportunities—From a Banking Perspective
By Dan Sherman

It’s clear that action is needed to mitigate global warming risks, including sea level rise and environmental degradation. When a company or industry makes a change to reduce emissions or environmental impact, it’s big news; but it would be far better if shifts in corporate policy could affect many companies and industries simultaneously. This is Read more »

Posted: August 5, 2014

Fossil Fuels: Divest AND Engage!
By Holly Testa, Director, Shareowner Engagement

The Unitarian Universalist Association, a faith-based community of more than 1000 congregations, has joined a growing list of institutions choosing to both divest AND engage. The Association recently passed a resolution that requires their $137 million endowment fund to cease purchasing securities in the Carbon Tracker 200—those companies with the largest proven carbon reserves—and to Read more »

Posted: July 24, 2014

“It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future…”
By George Gay

Occasionally, an internal e-mail “conversation” is worth summarizing and sharing widely—as a way to illustrate the deep thinking that goes on behind the scenes at First Affirmative and the value proposition that is central to our purpose as an asset manager and consultant to socially conscious investors. Recently, a network advisor brought Harry Dent’s new Read more »

Posted: June 18, 2014

Does High Frequency Trading Create Market Efficiency?
By Michael Schweibinz

High Frequency Trading (HFT) utilizes computer algorithms to move in and out of stock positions at extraordinarily high speeds. These algorithms identify market patterns and execute large volumes of security purchases and/or sales in milliseconds. Profits are generally counted in tenths of pennies per share; but it’s a volume business, and the pennies add up Read more »

Posted: May 28, 2014

Impact Investing in Canada: State of the Nation Report
By Betsy Moszeter and Karim Harji

The State of the Nation report on impact investing in Canada, jointly authored by Purpose Capital and the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, was released at Impact Ontario in April. As interest and activity around impact investing continues to grow throughout the world, so does the demand for information about trends and opportunities. The State Read more »

Posted: May 7, 2014

Applause for IT Product Recycling
By Michael Schweibinz

The technology industry has and continues to evolve at an incredible rate. This fast-paced business environment has driven competition in various directions, one of which has been a shift toward more sustainable practices, including recycling. The implementation of product-recycling programs has become a popular movement within the industry. So far, Apple and Dell have proved Read more »

Posted: May 5, 2014

Why I Dislike Quantitative Easing?
By Mel Miller

In a previous blog I explained the Federal Reserve’s traditional tool of reducing the Fed Funds rate to stimulate a weak economy.  The stimulation impact is the result of the relationship between the Fed Funds rate and the Prime borrowing rate charged by banks for business and consumer loans.  The Prime rate offered to a bank’s most credit worthy borrowers Read more »

Posted: April 21, 2014

Monetary Policy During the “Great Recession”
By Mel Miller

The U.S. economy is slowly recovering from the most severe economic decline since the Great Depression. The Great Recession, which started in 2007 and “ended” in 2009, was anything but typical as it relates to recessions of the past. Before we discuss one of the primary causes, let’s review the role of the Federal Reserve to reverse a recession. Read more »

Posted: April 7, 2014

Lobbying Disclosure a Hot Topic in 2014
By Holly Testa, Director, Shareowner Engagement

Institutional investors are once again requesting that companies disclose federal and state lobbying activity, including activities conducted through third parties such as trade organizations. The campaign, organized by AFSCME and Walden Asset Management, has rapidly gained momentum over the past four years. In 2011, AFSCME Employees Pension Plan started the campaign by filing six shareholder proposals. The Read more »

Posted: March 19, 2014