Greed Gone Good
A Roadmap to Creating Social and Financial Value
Greed Gone Good: A Roadmap to Impact Investing brings the how-tos of impact finance to a broad-based audience of investors, from the individual to the institutional. Written in an engaging, jargon-free style and loaded with practical advice, it explores the pitfalls and potential of the burgeoning impact revolution – the increasingly widespread belief that business and financial leaders should weigh social value as well as financial value in all of their decisions, to create both a better business model and a better world.
Cheerleaders have written a number of books advocating the magic of impact finance. Greed Gone Good hopes for the magic too; but also believes that an uncritical eye does not effectively advance the cause. We now have ten years of impact investing history to examine, and not all of it is laudable. We could hold hands and sing Kumbaya in praise of impact finance; or we could employ constructive criticism to figure out what’s gone well and what hasn’t, and how we should move forward more productively. Greed Gone Good focuses on the roadmap – how to reorient and repackage finance and investing in order to deliver on this promise. In particular, it focuses on how to realize the potential of the impact revolution to become a silver bullet against future failures.
Green Gone Good will have widespread appeal to investors ranging from individuals and family offices, to the world’s largest asset managers and investors.
Praise for Greed Gone Good
COVID-19 has given rise to an unprecedented global health and economic crisis. The pandemic, which disproportionately affected the poor, highlights the importance of inclusive and sustainable economic growth. But shifting toward an inclusive and sustainable growth paradigm requires vast resources. This book explores a promising new area of finance–impact finance–which can help the world build back better. Written in crystal clear language that is accessible to general readers, it is a must-read for anyone interested in how impact finance can help unleash private capital for a sustainable future.
Read this book and you’ll see why Prof. Jane Hughes was consistently selected by MBA students as “best teacher”. In Greed Gone Good Prof. Hughes brings her skill at taking complex issues – globalization, market forces, financial models, technology capabilities, governance issues, and more – to make them accessible in ways that clarify their vital interdependence. She addresses in no uncertain terms the importance of addressing the environmental crisis, immense social issues, and good, ethical corporate governance as keys to nothing less than the future of the world. By providing a way forward she shows us that while financial success is a good thing, it’s not the only thing that matters.
At once scholarly and entertaining, GGG provides a clear, cohesive roadmap for investors of private capital to embrace, rather than reject, capitalism to meet the ESG demands of their investors and consumers. With an impressive balance of economic theory and practical examples, this book(or the author?) offers the data-driven evidence and tools to substantiate the incremental returns generated by the deliberate alignment of business and social interests. GGG is a timely and relevant read for investment managers who will be compelled to focus on ESG initiatives as key criteria.
A sustainable future requires vast investments for environmental and social goals. At the same time, huge amounts of private finance are desperately searching for productive investment opportunities. Therefore, the fundamental challenge facing finance in the 21st century is harnessing and leveraging private capital for green and social investments. Innovative financial instruments such as impact bonds help reconcile private greed with public good. I strongly recommend Greed Gone Good for anyone interested in understanding how impact bonds satisfy the profit motive of investors and foster a more sustainable society.
Investors have long assumed that for-profit businesses operate with one goal: to make money. Hughes argues that investment capital can improve the environment, social conditions, and governance, while at the same time those investments can generate strong financial returns. She pulls from her extensive experience to summarize results and opportunities in microfinance, impact equity, impact bond investments and sustainable banking. Business leaders and potential investors will appreciate her balanced, readable, and comprehensive overview, illustrated with many case studies.
Read an Excerpt
Great financial innovations arise from moments in time when the world is ripe with opportunity. Around the dawn of the 21st century, one such moment arrived with the impact revolution, a drive to realign investments with social and environmental goals alongside financial goals. The coronavirus pandemic and ensuing economic devastation has highlighted the urgency of a sustainable investing approach in order to build back better.
This movement owes its popularity to the failure of other approaches to development, such as foreign aid. Bottom-line capitalism has brought massive inequity, evident in the class-based and racial overtones of the Hurricane Katrina debacle and the unpleasant reality of global markets exposed in the financial crisis of 2007-10. And then came coronavirus, which exposed the horrid underbelly of globalization and greed, by hitting poor, underserved, vulnerable, often minority populations with disproportionate ferocity.
There has to be a better way – and there is. The profit incentive is a powerful one, so why not embrace this in our quest for economic and social progress? The concept of ESG-based investing (investing in line with environmental, social, and governance goals) is both an affirmation and a reformation of capitalism.
This book is a roadmap to how we can lure huge gobs of private capital into enterprises that promise both financial and social returns.