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Finance

What Does It Take to Create Financial Products That Can Save the Planet?

Investors are increasingly eager to contribute to solutions for climate change and other environmental problems. Charlotte Kaiser ’07 of The Nature Conservancy’s NatureVest, explains how the company builds financial products that attract mainstream capital while delivering conservation impacts.

An overhead image of Ille Pierre Island in Seychelles.
  • Did innovation cause the credit crisis?

    By 2006, the subprime market had grown to 20% of the total U.S. mortgage market, and 75% of these loans were securitized and sold off to investors around the world, facilitating an influx of capital. With credit easily available, more people than ever before were able to buy homes — but then the market seized up.

  • Is something new happening with private equity?

    From 2005 through the middle of 2007, one public company after another was bought out and went private. The size of the deals escalated — Hertz for $15 billion, HCA for $33 billion, Equity Office Properties for $39 billion, TXU Energy for $44 billion. Then the megadeals stopped. Andrew Metrick explains what happened.

  • What is a long life worth?

    A document from 1787 Holland lists the names of girls whose income from government annuities was pooled and securitized, allowing investors to essentially bet that the girls would live a long time. Yale SOM Professors Will Goetzmann and Geert Rouwenhorst discuss how this novel financial device functioned and how it fits in the story of the development of more and more sophisticated securities.

  • Can markets change society?

    Professor Zhiwu Chen has been watching what’s happened as China adopts such financial instruments as mortgages and mutual funds. He was born in a rural village in China, and when he goes back, he says, he sees a country that’s being remade by markets.