March 2011: Cash


In this convening we will seek to define the societal purposes of cash as it has evolved as an asset class and determine how responsible investors can best align their investments with these purposes.

Cash, as exemplified in deposits in financial institutions, serves certain basic societal purposes in the promotion of financial stability and local economic development. Government has sought to promote these goals through deposit insurance, minimum capital requirements, community reinvestment regulations, and similar initiatives. We will examine the financial and societal risks of cash investment misaligned with these goals. We will also seek to identify metrics that capture the rewards that successful investment alignment with these goals can bring.

The convening was held at the Harvard Kennedy School on March 4th.

View a summary of the day’s discussion here.

Relevant Articles

Berezin, Valerie, Lisa Hagerman, and David Wood. Cash as a Mission-Related Investment. Initiative for Responsible Investment and More for Mission, February 2011. Download PDF.

Bhidé, Amar. “To fix our banks we must go back to the 70s.” Financial Times. January 9, 2011.  Available here.

Cates, Rosalie Sheehy and Chris Larson. Connecting CDFIs to the Socially Responsible Investor Community. October 2010. Download Word.

Doing Business with Community Development Banking Institutions: A Deposits Initiative. Initiative for Responsible Investment and National Community Investing Fund. September 2010. Download PDF.

Thornley, Ben and Colby Dailey. Building Scale in Community Impact Investing through Nonfinancial Performance Management. Community Development Investment Review, Vol. 6 Issue 1 (October 2010). Available here.