SRI, CSR? – Let's make this stuff fun.

Welcome and thanks for reading, whether you're a jaded veteran who suspects socially responsible investing  (SRI) might appear in the dictionary under “oxymoron” or a lucky, if slightly thick-thumbed, passerby searching for posts on your favorite TV crime lab who just discovered that CSR (oops) equals corporate social responsibility.  I'm Mike Hassett.  I'll be writing on sustainable finance topics here at Justmeans and I'm about to present a highly subjective and selective view of my own background in the hope that you will be deluded into returning to read future posts.

After thirty years as a corporate lawyer, I spent most of the past couple of years blogging and doing stand-up comedy.  Since these activities have not  produced significant revenue (unless you count the free drinks)  some might tend to confuse them with doing nothing.  In fact, they were valuable training.  If you think it's hard to find humor in topics like SRI, consider my stand-up routine on the Index of Failed States published by Foreign Policy Magazine.  OK, but sustainable financing isn't making many appearances in Letterman's top ten, how long can you keep it up?  A small but dedicated (cultish?) following will confirm that my personal blog once included 180 consecutive days of humor drawn solely from the headlines of the NY Times.

As you might guess (the thirty years as a lawyer was a hint), my approach to sustainable finance is not all fun.  In addition to being a proud graduate of The Manhattan School of Comedy, I have some fairly dusty diplomas from MIT (SB), Columbia Law (JD) and NYU Law (LLM – Taxation).   I've seen finance from the inside, working as underwriter's counsel, representing a commodities dealer for many years, handling SEC compliance issues and counseling corporate executives. I've spent most of my life learning new financial and legal concepts, then explaining them in terms that were clear to a broad audience.

I'm excited to have this opportunity; excited to shift my focus to the financial issues that really matter the most and expand my knowledge base in the process.  I hope to have some fun and I hope the fun will keep you reading, but once in a while maybe I will write something that gets you to think about something new,  see an old problem in a different light, recognize another point of view or spot a solution when you thought you were at an impasse.  I know I'll be changing myself as I write these posts, maybe once in a while I will change you.