Economics As If the Earth Really Mattered: A Catalyst Guide to Socially Conscious Investing

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9780865711204: Economics As If the Earth Really Mattered: A Catalyst Guide to Socially Conscious Investing

Book by Meeker-Lowry, Susan

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Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Money was once a tool, not a commodity. We created money to facilitate the exchange of goods, an exchange that could be accomplished in any number of ways. Gradually, though, money has become one of our main measures of worth. Success means accumulating more; ruin means being left destitute. In search of money many of us have foregone special interests or talents that do not pay. Worse, we have traded webs of relationships with communities, places, and the Earth for the transient search for the dollar.

Women's World Banking 104 East 40th St., Ste. 607 New York, NY 10016 (212) 953-2390 Founded: 1979 Purpose: Guarantees loans to women entrepreneurs around the world, particularly in low-income regions and to women who have not had access to financial marketplaces. Women's World Banking (WWB) works with locally established affiliates. It now has affiliates in twenty-eight countries, with twenty-six more in formation; the affiliates review loan applications and select recipients. WWB guarantees up to 50 percent of the loans, the affiliates 25 percent, and a local financial institution must provide 25 percent of the financing.

Size and Record: WWB's capital stands at approximately $5 million. The fund is capitalized through grants, loans, and deposits. It has participated in about twelve hundred loans with no defaults.

Investment Opportunities: Until June 1986, WWB was issuing debentures paying 8 percent. By January 1987, WWB accepted deposits paying 6 percent or donations.

Review:

A Gaean economy is one that follows the principles of nature, describing a cycle of giving back what is taken to create a balance that is equitable and sustainable. Communities which practice these principles enjoy both self-reliance and diversity. Here, Susan Meeker-Lowry exposes many of the problems with our current money system and shows us how local reinvestment in recycling, land trusts and food coops can keep money and resources flowing within the community. Individuals seeking investment opportunities can find local, regional and national service organizations listed here that meet people's basic needs. With details on the scope, function and investment opportunities of such groups nationwide, and examples of successful programs, this book is an incisive tool for using your money to create social change. -- From The WomanSource Catalog & Review: Tools for Connecting the Community for Women; review by Ilene Rosoff

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