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Author Woody Tasch to Discuss ‘Slow Money’ Monday

Discussion outlines plan to develop natural, social and financial capital

In his newly published book, Inquiries Into the Nature of Slow Money, Investing as if Food, Farms and Fertility Mattered, Woody Tasch examines the idea of whether the world economy is going through a correction in the credit markets,  triggered by the sub-prime mortgage crisis, or whether we are teetering on the edge of something much deeper. He examines our current economy, tied to petrodollars, derivatives, hedge funds, futures, arbitrage, and a byzantine hyper-securitized system of inter-mediation — that no program trader, no speculator, no investment bank CEO — can any longer fully understand or manage.

Tasch will discuss his new research and book at 7 p.m. Monday at Victoria Hall, 33 W. Victoria St.

Tasch proposes we bring money back down to earth. The long-term venture capitalist and entrepreneur knows Wall Street and is putting that experience to work to create a different model of venture capital through a newly formed NGO and movement called Slow Money, which will invest in companies that build natural and social capital as well as financial capital.

He likens fast money as funds so detached from the people, place and activities it is financing that not even the experts understand it fully.

The Slow Money movement has two parts — an NGO (nongovernment organization) through which a series of workshops held around the country bring together stakeholders to talk about how they would invest slow money in their region, and a fund side, coming to market in 2009, to raise $50 million to $100 million to initiate a series of regional Slow Money venture funds. Scrutinizing where we are in history, Tasch believes we have to behave differently if we want to survive, by nurturing markets that don’t require unlimited growth — growth that goes beyond the limits of natural and social capital. He suggests we need to move from capital markets based on consumption and extraction to capital markets based on restoration and preservation. Slow Money could be the connection back to Main Street that Wall Street needs. Slow money, according to Tasch, is Nurture Capital.

Tasch is chairman of Investors’ Circle, a national nonprofit network of investors dedicated to “Patient Capital for a Sustainable Future.” Since 1992, Investors’ Circle has helped flow more than $130 million to more than 200 sustainability-minded early stage companies and venture funds, including more than $25 million to 42 food companies. He is chairman and president of the newly formed NGO, Slow Money, an intermediary dedicated to catalyzing the flow of capital to enterprises that support soil fertility and local food communities.

The Monday event takes place at 7 p.m. at Victoria Hall Theater, 33 W. Victoria St. Cost is $5; no reservations needed. The event is presented by the nonprofit Santa Barbara Permaculture Network. Click here for more information, or call 805.962.2571 or e-mail [email protected]

Noozhawk staff writer Laurie Jervis can be reached at [email protected]

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