Could Green Investment Have Prevented the Economic Meltdown?

Sheryl CanterFormer President Bill Clinton gave an interesting analysis last night on the Late Show with David Letterman of how we got into our current economic mess. It all started at the beginning of the decade with lots of money to invest and no place to invest it. (For more on this, listen to the excellent report from This American Life on "The Giant Pool of Money".) Since most of the economic activity at this time was in real estate, investment bankers invented something called "mortgage-backed securities". This worked well and they wanted more, so lenders started giving mortgages to people with no ability to repay them – leading to the current mess.

We could have avoided this problem, Clinton said, if government had provided incentives for investment in the next big thing – clean energy.

EDF’s position is that the green economy is our best hope for the future. The incentive we need to make this happen is a cap on global warming pollution.

This post is by Sheryl Canter, an online writer and editorial manager at Environmental Defense Fund.

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One Comment

  1. Posted October 1, 2008 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Investments in clean energy should be encouraged. However, the history of the stock market has been fraught with bubbles. Every time a sector gets “hot,” everyone wants to jump in. This is just the nature of so-called “investors.”

    I’m not convinced that there will not be a “clean energy” bubble one of these days.