Inspired Economist: Pick of the Week

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This column highlights the top economic stories of the week.

Reports of the demise of the U.S. dollar may be premature. But when some of the world’s most powerful investors are warning of the currency’s decline, investors take notice. More on this story here.

There are many cynics out there that critique and question the future of sustainable products and businesses. It’s easy to side with them, mostly because it’s difficult to understand what comprises a “sustainable” product which in turn creates a domino chain of skepticism about achievability. The industry is in self-defining mode and most of us lack the degrees in chemistry, biology, natural sciences or any other course of study that might support our inclination to trust what marketers tell us is “safe” and what is not. More on this story here.

Mumbai, India’s commercial capital, has grown quickly in recent decades – at the expense of its estuaries, environmentalist advocates say. More on this story here.

What if you call your HR department or brokerage firm and discover you don’t have SRI options available with your 401(k)? Does that mean you can’t be a socially responsible investor?  Of course not.  If you own shares in a company, you have partial ownership and certain privileges.  Corporations mail out their annual reports containing proxy statements and voting forms.  With our votes, we have the ability to help shape sustainable business in corporate America.  We can be shareholder advocates. More on this story here.

Should renewables be “Made in the USA?” Tax credits for renewable-energy equipment manufacturing became a reality last week, with the United States Energy and Treasury Departments officially launching a $2.3 billion program that the stimulus package authorized back in February. More on this story here.

China is the world’s largest supplier of carbon credits. The country is due to generate 55% of all certified-emission reduction credits (CERs), which under the Kyoto protocol allow companies in developed nations to offset their emissions by buying credits from developing nations. But to date China has not been a source of demand.  More on this story here.

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