Monday, July 19, 2010

Slow Money Part II: What is the solution?

The farmer says to the investment banker- "why not stay a while? Let's talk beets"

Slow Money pertains that the solution to decreasing soil fertility, bloated stock markets, and over produced commodities is one of small and local investment. Slow money is what happens after we have figured out that industrial agriculture and industrial investment have left our soils, farms, and communities depleted. Slow money quite literally "slows" down money to a place where it can impact local economy and support local farmers in a very real way. It takes investment and finance out of huge unwieldy world systems and puts them back into small and recognizable local systems.

Woody Tasch started as a venture capitalist and entrepreneur, and knows intimately the underbelly of conventional financial system. Ultimately he recognized that the system he was working under was not ideal, and slow money is an attempt to reconcile that. There are many kinds of capital, and slow money attempts to recognize and develop social capital as well as financial capital. What this means is that the idea of investing changes from a double digit return, to a return in social cohesion, a return in fertile land, and a return to integrated local food. The idea is that many people invest a little bit, or even a few people investing quite a bit, in order to see these things happen. The principles; as taken from the website are as follow

"I. We must bring money back down to earth.

II. There is such a thing as money that is too fast, companies that are too big, finance that is too complex. Therefore, we must slow our money down -- not all of it, of course, but enough to matter.

III. The 20th Century was the era of Buy Low/Sell High and Wealth Now/Philanthropy Later—what one venture capitalist called “the largest legal accumulation of wealth in history.” The 21st Century will be the era of nurture capital, built around principles of carrying capacity, care of the commons, sense of place and non-violence.

IV. We must learn to invest as if food, farms and fertility mattered. We must connect investors to the places where they live, creating vital relationships and new sources of capital for small food enterprises.

V. Let us celebrate the new generation of entrepreneurs, consumers and investors who are showing the way from Making A Killing to Making a Living.

VI. Paul Newman said, "I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer who puts back into the soil what he takes out." Recognizing the wisdom of these words, let us begin rebuilding our economy from the ground up, asking:

* What would the world be like if we invested 50% of our assets within 50 miles of where we live?
* What if there were a new generation of companies that gave away 50% of their profits?
* What if there were 50% more organic matter in our soil 50 years from now?"

By supporting local farming we support local economy, and the health of our food system and also the health of our community. Rather than sending our money in overseas stock trades, we are sending our money to family farms and a vibrant agriculture.

Find out more by checking out Tasch's book or the website

1 comment:

Jane Eckert said...

You can find local family farms close to you by checking out