Research Foundation Briefs 18 May 2021
Capitalism for Everyone
Although capitalism has been the most successful economic system in history, it has come under increasing criticism in recent years. To address this growing distrust, the authors advocate reforms to make capitalism more inclusive and accountable.
Capitalism for EveryoneRead the brief (PDF)
Does capitalism still work? In the newspapers and on TV, capitalism is being criticised everywhere as the source of rising inequality and a system that no longer works for the middle class. At the heart of the tension between capitalism and the “public good” lies the question of whether a company’s only goal is value maximisation for its shareholders or whether it has obligations to other stakeholders as well.
We dive into the history of both shareholder value maximisation and stakeholder capitalism and show how stakeholder capitalism has been implemented successfully—and sometimes not so successfully—in countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan. Furthermore, we show how sovereign wealth funds can act as shareholders that allow the “public” to participate in businesses.
We are capitalists and believe in the continued power of capitalism to create wealth, but we also see the need for a more inclusive approach to capitalism. In this note, we describe some features of sovereign wealth funds that can allow businesses to thrive while providing benefits for everyone and creating a more inclusive form of capitalism.
About the Authors
Joachim Klement is a strategist at Liberum. He has more than 20 years of experience in the financial markets and has spent most of his career working with wealthy individuals and family offices, providing advice on investments and helping manage portfolios. Mr. Klement studied mathematics and physics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) and earned a master’s degree in mathematics. He later studied business administration at the University of Zurich and the University of Hagen and earned a master’s degree in economics and finance.
Michael S. Falk, CFA, is a partner with the Focus Consulting Group. He has been a chief strategist on a global macro hedge fund as well as a CIO in charge of manager due diligence and asset allocation for a multi-billion-dollar advisory. Mr. Falk has also taught at DePaul University in the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Certificate Program. In addition, he is the author of the CFA Institute Research Foundation book, Let’s All Learn How to Fish . . . to Sustain Long-Term Economic Growth, on entitlement policies for sustainable economic growth. Mr. Falk is also part of the CFA Institute Approved Speaker List and a contributing member in the Financial Management Association’s Practitioner Demand Driven Academic Research Initiative group, and he teaches on behalf of CFA Society Chicago in its CFA Institute Investment Foundations™ certificate program. He is frequently quoted in the financial press. Mr. Falk holds the Certified Retirement Counselor (CRC) designation and a BS in finance from the University of Illinois.