Research Handbook of Investing in the Triple Bottom Line
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Research Handbook of Investing in the Triple Bottom Line

Finance, Society and the Environment

Edited by Sabri Boubaker, Douglas Cumming and Duc K. Nguyen

The triple bottom line is an accounting framework with social, environmental and financial factors. This Handbook examines the nexus between these areas by scrutinising aspects of socially responsible investment, finance and sustainable development, corporate socially responsible banking firms, the stock returns of sustainable firms, green bonds and sustainable financial instruments.
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chapter 8: Financial markets like the potter’s hands? Rethinking finance for sustainability in a civil society perspective

Giulia Porino


Profound transformations have shifted the financial sector away from being the plumber of the economy into a ‘self-referential’ sector pursuing higher-profit and risky, speculative activities while being careless about the consequences for society. Evidence from the financial crisis reveals both the sinister features of this transformation – size, interconnectedness, complexity and opacity – and the mechanisms – deregulation and macroeconomic imbalances – that allowed them to dominate. A greater civil society engagement in the debate about finance is essential to challenge the lack of ambition showed in the current political agenda for financial reform, as well as to advocate for the implementation of alternative ideas for a transition towards a sustainable financial system.

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