An Urgent Call to Biden-Harris Administration: Create White House Initiative on Inclusive Economic Growth
Structural Reforms To Capital Markets And Increased Community Investing Key To Supercharging Administration’s Efforts To Address COVID-19 Fall Out, Racial Wealth Gap And Climate Change
The U.S. Impact Investing Alliance, B Lab and a coalition of 50 impact-oriented organizations are calling for the creation of a White House Initiative on Inclusive Economic Growth to coordinate federal policies that will reshape and rebuild our economy so that it works for all of us. The proposed Initiative’s bold approach would support the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to address three monumental crises facing our nation: the COVID-19 economic fallout; a widening racial wealth gap; and climate change.
The Administration has made significant headway and the Initiative on Inclusive Economic Growth would supercharge these efforts by prioritizing a set of necessary and long overdue structural reforms to our economy and capital markets, including:
A shift from shareholder primacy to stakeholder capitalism, including financial market reforms that change the rules and incentives for corporations and investors to ensure they account for their impact on all stakeholders, and not just shareholders; and
A renewed focus on community investing that builds generational wealth and creates new jobs and opportunities in Black, Brown, Tribal, rural, and otherwise underserved communities.
The Initiative aligns with and supports the core values of the Biden-Harris Administration and is critical to driving a coordinated policy agenda that refocuses corporations and investors on real and equitable value creation that promotes quality jobs, thriving communities, and the resilience of our planet. It would be staffed at the National Economic Council, which could play a central coordinating role in promoting equitable economic policy across the Administration. This would also ensure the outlined goals of the proposed Initiative sit at the very center of our nation’s economic policymaking apparatus.
The coalition is currently engaging with Congressional offices and members of the Administration to build support for the White House Initiative and to share our vision for inclusive economic policymaking. Together, we hope to advance the Administration’s priorities around economic recovery, racial equity, and climate resilience.
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Capitalism is the most powerful economic system created. Yet, in its current form, it is failing to meet the aspirations of billions and the needs of a warming planet. We stand at the crossroads of crisis and also extraordinary opportunity: capitalism is at a tipping point.
Global capital markets are awakening to the mounting pressures to support a new way of doing business. The scale of this opportunity is unprecedented. Certified B Corps are a new model for businesses that are tackling some of our most pressing global challenges and building a new economy led by stakeholder capitalism.
As the pandemic and the reckoning with racial injustice have further exposed the flaws of shareholder primacy, the time is now?to end this practice. Shareholder primacy is at the root of so many of the challenges society is facing today —?including wealth inequality, systemic racism, gender inequality and more —?it will take policy change to turn this around.
The policy agenda revolves around two core reforms:?
First, that in order to see systems change we need to see benefit governance in?both?companies and institutional investors, so the capital markets look beyond individual company returns and take responsibility for the impact of businesses and investments practices on society and the environment.
Second, that companies and institutional investors be?required?to adopt benefit governance where the voluntary adoption of a leading segment of the private sector, i.e. the current wave of B Corps and benefit corporations, while they are influential, will not be sufficient to enact true systems change.
— This is an excerpt from a letter to the B Corp Community from Anthea Kelsick and Ben Anderson, Co-CEOs of B Lab U.S. & Canada. Read the full letter here.
Our country stands at a crossroads. With a global pandemic and economic crises affecting all of our communities, we face a choice about how to rebuild. Will we go back to business as usual — opting for an economic recovery that benefits the few — often at the expense of the security and safety of the many? Across party lines, across the private and public sectors, and from the streets to the boardrooms, we must seek a new path, one that sets us on course to fulfill the founding promise of this country — a promise still unrealized for too many. With legislative and regulatory changes, we can have mandatory benefit governance and expand investors’ fiduciary responsibilities to protect the broad interests of their beneficiaries. It’s ambitious but realistic — with partners across industry and across the political aisle, we can see these changes through to build a more resilient economy.
“Long before powerful interests recognized that our corporate governance and economic system had departed from the principles of fairness that characterized the New Deal, helped us defeat fascism and communism, and were beginning to help Black Americans overcome centuries of discrimination, B Lab advanced a sensible measure to help make our market system work again for the many.? B Lab’s viewpoint is now coming fully into the mainstream of an important discussion about whether we are going to restore an enlightened form of capitalism or risk enduring harm to our democracy.? This new policy paper has ideas that, if undertaken along with labor law reform, a living wage, and investments in job creation, infrastructure and the prevention of climate change, will go a long way toward fulfilling the promise of a nation where equal opportunity is a reality, not just hollow rhetoric."
—?Former Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court and now of counsel at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen, & Katz Leo Strine Jr.
We Need Your Help
1. Spread the word:?Let’s unleash the power of our combined network, and?share the release of the policy paper?with your audiences.
2. Take the time to?read the white paper?to deeply understand.?
3. Share your feedback and ideas for targeted outreach with legislators:?Connect with us email@example.com. We are currently developing a strategy in partnership with experts to guide our outreach to policymakers, and we welcome integrating you into these plans so that we are coordinated.
"?At a time of deep economic and political uncertainty, when the contrast between rising U.S. financial markets and hunger, inequality and unemployment seems deeper every day, the white paper issued by B Lab not only analyzes the structural reasons for this disparity, it also proposes comprehensive policy solutions that address that disconnect. It proposes a structural approach with multiple recommendations aimed at addressing the guidance for fiduciaries and corporate leadership that both permit and encourage fiduciaries, asset owners, managers, and shareholders to consider the broader interests of their ultimate beneficiaries, including long-term value. This systemic approach would super-charge the efforts of investors like Trillium Asset Management, who have been advocating as shareholders for corporations to consider the broader good as a way to reach long-term sustainability."
—?Cheryl Smith, Trillium Asset Management
"?In order to achieve a more just and sustainable form of capitalism, we need systems changes that are larger than any single company or investor. This white paper provides important ideas that deserve serious consideration as we try to make the private markets work better for everybody."
—?Roy Swan, Director Mission Investments
Relevant Articles & Resources
Impact Briefing Podcast
Thomson Reuters Foundation News
B Lab U.S. & Canada
B Lab U.S. & Canada
New York Times
New York Times
Roosevelt Institute Working Paper
UNEP Finance Initiative
“For too long, too many companies have focused on profits to the detriment of their workers and the local communities where they operate. I am proud to lead Amalgamated Bank in a different direction where we have created good jobs for our employees, respected and protected the community and natural environment around us and focused on responsible practices that will create a profitable and sustainable company for generations. It’s time to change the system in the U.S and create a level playing field where all CEOs and corporate executives are responsible not just to their shareholders but to their employees, community members and all those who contribute to their bottom line.”
—?Keith Mestrich, CEO Amalgamated Bank
“The laws that govern the flow of private capital make no allowance for the fact that companies can profit from activities that extract value from vulnerable communities and systems; as a result, profits and capital continue to flow to corporations that are degrading vital social and economic systems... The White Paper establishes the basis for rewriting those laws in order to channel competition and private capital towards activities that create profits from innovation, efficiency and inclusion, rather than exploitation.”
—?Rick Alexander, Founder of the Shareholder Commons and lead author of the White Paper
Support This Work
Now’s the time to turn words into action and build a regenerative and inclusive economy that works for all. By shifting the culture of business, we can solve the world’s biggest environmental and social challenges. Join us and a global movement of people using business as a force for good.