Sacrifice

This society is well acquainted with economic bubbles that blaze hot and then suddenly collapse, leaving the speculators late on their exits caught in the avalanche. Tulips. Mortgages. The markets allow speculative enthusiasm to push value up when the fundamentals to sustain that value are not there. The economy, a social construct already, is artificially high and eventually bursts to correct toward balance.

Wall Street-style finance is a driver of this with stock tickers bouncing with hourly averages and analysts pouring over spreadsheets like tarot cards, predicting this outcome or that. Today, fiduciary money like pension funds play an outsized role in that market activity.

In the wake of an economic collapse, the losses are not just in cash dollars, but social and individual hardships that reverberate far beyond the stock market trading floor.

At Bank of Nature, we acknowledge that our current global economy, made rich with natural resources, is running hot when there are no fundamentals to support that rise over the long term. We are a society in overshoot with an extraction rate from nature to feed society that is greater than nature’s ability to regenerate.

That’s going to lead to a correction. It also leads to choice: Do you try to contain it or do you take it on the chin, however it comes?

At Bank of Nature, we want to propose a way to contain the fallout by implementing fiduciary finance, embodying stewardship that promotes nature and future generations and paying into nature building and detoxification programs. The plan is to self-regulate in anticipation of a correction.

Presently, the economy is maintaining the overinflated, artificial status quo. Do nothing is a strategy, especially when modern sustainability asks each of us to give up something we value: eating meat, driving the car, having children, feeling safe. It’s a hard sell to ask for sacrifice from each of 7.8 billion people, when 734 million live in extreme poverty.

What do they have left to sacrifice? And why should people more fortunate have to give up something they’ve worked for?

The harsh answer is “because you owe it”.

Don’t you pay your debts? Don’t you refinance so that you can service an overwhelming debt — essentially correcting your budgets and curbing your pricier wants?  You are choosing the terms of the correction, instead of opting for repossession.

This is where Bank of Nature comes in — acknowledging these hard and ugly truths about society and using its own tools to work for a containment strategy. A proxy for nature is that missing player in our global economics. It can allow society to continue its growth narrative, only if nature gets even bigger. Paying nature first and with interest means we have a full accounting of what things cost in this society, without artificial subsidies and including externalities, fiduciary duties to our future generations and replenishing Earth’s resources.

Fiduciary money, managed through pensions and endowments, have the scale and mission to work toward this containment strategy. Stewardship and fiduciary duties — like funds that live forever — are better met when these funds point their efforts to addressing the challenges to their immortality.

Fiduciaries using fiduciary finance can act for society as a whole through social contracts that they should be engaged in regardless. This is how we minimize the sacrifice and invest in endgame sustainability.

At Bank of Nature, we’re developing the idea of “taking the safer alternative path” toward endgame sustainability. That’s choosing the sacrifice and getting on with it.

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