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April 30, 2006


Aaron Nitzkin

I couldn't agree more with Joel. This approach of patient capital is integrated into numerous successful economies through government driven business incentives. In the solar industry, this has happened in Japan and Germany, where the governments took practive steps to ensure the long term security and economic prosperity of their countries. We have taken a good first step recently with more and more companies not giving guidance of their financial performance as frequently, thereby freeing them up to focus more on key "longer term" initiatives. I believe that this will help increase the flow of "patient capital" into our financial markets.

andrew g.

I think that if you read Milton Friedman's article, and you believe that all "sustainable business" related activity has a net short or long term "business case", than you can conclude that Milton Friedman's premise is dead-on. The business is run for profit--operating in a sustainable way, ensures long term maximized profitability. His article accounts for the fact that social and environmental activities can benefit the bottom line. Some don't, some do, best to focus on the ones that do. Not sure why Milton gets used in this negative way over and over again. If you look at the successful sustainable business case studies--they all benefit the bottom line. The ones that don't--don't go very far. Why fear the profit motive??--it makes the wheels turn!


The triple or quadruple bottom line concept is a little touchy-feely. But the multiple imperatives can be reduced to one. This will require a shift in regulations to account for things most businesses now ignore. (Such as CO2 emissions.) Aside from complying with government mandates, corporations will reap obvious P.R. benefits (which add to their bottom line.)

By pricing externalities and other factors in terms of dollars, we can let business continue to do what it is designed to do: maximize profits.

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