Why Do We Need a Sustainable and Responsible Financial System?

Esther Jeffers ** CRIISEA, Université de Picardie Jules Verne. Contact : esther.jeffers@u-picardie.fr.

Is the present conception of finance inevitable? Is there a more sustainable alternative? And if so, what does it look like?

In the first part, this article discusses why, when deregulated, finance suffers from pronounced recurring financial cycles, favoured by a strong procyclicality of risk perception with a highly negative impact on the real economy. Understanding how this led to a major crisis is one of the preconditions for conceiving what a sustainable and responsible financial system would look like. In the second part, we point to the necessary reforms of the financial and banking system to lead us out of the crisis and allow for investments with a long-term perspective, particularly important for the coming ecological transition. Finally, this article argues in favour of a model of finance capable of better taking into consideration environmental, social and governance risks in the investment decisions being made – long-term investments, capable of generating new dynamics in different sectors of the economy, whether industry, agriculture or services.

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