As the spokes are coming off of the global financial system, we have all had a chance to witness how the sausage is made…and it is really scary.
Most outsiders, like me, assumed that a post-SOX world would ensure safe and transparent investments for the masses. As we now know, things have only gotten worse. Corporate behavior, especially in the finance sector, has been exemplified by the events surrounding Madoff and the obscene compensation packages on Wall Street.
As an optimist, I view all these events as a huge market correction which will alter how business is done in the future. At the core of this correction, everyone from CEOs to hedge fund managers will have to re-discover new ways to attract capital. I believe that this unending search for capital, in a free market, will require that firms embrace a socially responsible paradigm for interacting with investors, regulators, and the environments.
Today, SRI is an alternative strategy for the highly enlighten. Tomorrow, it will be the battle cry of every firm wanting to survive in a 21st century economy.