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Monday, September 22, 2008
Restoring Health To World Financial Markets

Financial Crisis - Building Integrity For The Future

In the current financial crisis, one of the key issues facing global markets is confidence, and confidence is only won with trust. You only build trust with honesty and integrity, and this appears to be the area in finance requiring the greatest investment above all else. In determining whether today's financial restoration tactics will be successful, the first areas that need attention are trust and integrity. Recent failures of investment banks have shown that there was too much acceptance of inappropriate behaviour, and few stepped forward to say, "wait a minute - this isn't legal, right, or in the general interests of society!" There has been too much emphasis on live today - forget about tomorrow.

Global financial markets face serious issues of confidence and much of it is related to dishonesty and ongoing illegal behaviour by some of the major players. These two latter facets need just as much resolution with urgency as does anything that money can buy or be used to support a system. In some ways, this is the turning point as to whether we will use money to support a short or a long term approach to both investment and the sustainability of mankind. One of the concerns of writing a blank cheque to support financial markets is where will the money go, and what sort of behaviour will it support. Is the money to be used to enrich society and provide economic stability, or instead to refund someone's bad investments? And finally, what is the return on the investment for the country for each instance of financial support it offers?

What is absolute is that there is only a very short period of time for humanity to move from being destroyers to restorers of the environment. Restoration will require long-term investment in non-polluting energy, new technology, and zero emissions infrastructures. Todays financial investment structures need to move significantly to long-term returns if we are to have any chance of saving the Planet.

A huge global concern is whether the right people can step forward at this moment whose primary interest is in the future generations, the Planet and the further sustainability of humanity. It is not the time for self-enrichment or restoration of personal bank accounts when it comes at the expense of future generations.  It all goes back to the main question - do we want to think short or long term, and which is the right path to follow?

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