Positive Finance

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Positive Finance

A Toolkit for Responsible Transformation

For some, finance is the enemy: solely responsible for the global financial crisis and symbolic of an outdated model that is catapulting us toward social and ecological ruin. Such a view can seem tempting. The 2007-2008 meltdown of the financial system was intimately bound to the financialization of the economy and its consequences. However, in reality the crisis in finance is an indicator that our economic model is obsolete. It is possible to imagine another way, which would consist of seeing finance as a “toolkit” for building a solution to the crisis.

Positive Finance presents a way to transform the economic model and reduce the ever-widening gulf of inequality, while taking into account environmental constraints. In order to achieve this, the authors argue that we must re-envision the allocation of capital in order to support social and technological innovations, to design and build sustainable infrastructure, and to finance the energy transition.

Reinvented, finance could become a powerful lever for setting these transformations in motion. This book is dedicated to proving that such leverage is within reach: here, the authors present a toolkit for putting money to work in the general interest.

Providing a precise and lucid analysis of current and potential developments in positive finance, this work  lays the cornerstone of a new finance.

Jacques Attali, French economist and first President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Guez and Zaouati capture one of the truly critical agendas in sustainable development: how to make capital work in the best interests of society. Read this book and be inspired.

Dr Jake Reynolds, Director, Sustainable Economy, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Positive Finance gets to the heart of what's broken in capitalism today - our system of short-term, speculative finance - and offers a range of clues to how we can start to fix it. Zaouati and Guez help to demystify the religion of high finance and decode its unintelligible creed, reminding us how to get back to the basic wisdom of savings and investments. The stakes could not be higher - and this book is an invaluable tipper's guide on where to place the best bets for a more sustainable future.

Prof. Wayne Visser, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, Author of 'Sustainable Frontiers'

Hervé Guez and Philippe Zaouati get straight to the point... A vital shift for embracing positive finance.

Céline Louche, Head of CSR Research Axis and Joint-Head of Microfinance Chair at Audencia School of Management


Jacques Attali

1. Introduction

2. Positive Finance for a positive economy

3. Savings as a means of transforming the corporation

4. Harnessing savings to transform the economy

5. Conclusion


Primary organizations cited

Acronyms and abbreviations

About the authors

A financial analyst by training, HERVÉ GUEZ is Head of Research at Mirova, the asset management subsidiary of BPCE dedicated to responsible investment. PHILIPPE ZAOUATI is the founder and CEO of Mirova.

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