Bankers and the Social Good

Interesting piece in The New Yorker by Cassidy What Good is Wall St?

There is a particularly interesting section on Woolley and his Centre for the Study of Capital Market Dysfunctionality.  Linked is a speech he gave and his 10 point manifesto for investing (I think #4 is particularly interesting ):

The heart of the presentation is a 10 point memorandum targeted at what he calls giant funds, the custodians of social wealth, which he defines as sovereign funds, corporate and public pension funds and university foundations and endowments. Woolley’s thesis is that these giant funds have become unwittingly complicit in the creation of a vast unstable monster that the global financial system has become.

1  Adopt long-term investment approach (future dividend flows), rather than momentum (short-run price change)

2  Cap annual turnover of portfolios at 30%

3  Understand that all tools now used to manage risk and return are based on the discredited theory of efficient markets

4  Adopt a stable benchmark such as growth of GDP plus a risk premium

5  Not pay performance fees

6  Not engage in alternative investments – Hedge funds, Private equity, Commodities

7  Insist on total transparency of agents’ strategies

8  Ensure everything in the portfolio is traded on a public exchange

9  Secure full transparency of banking service costs incurred by companies you invest in

10  Provide full disclosure of compliance with these policies