Opinion Editorials

Opinion Editorials

The following editorials provide thought provoking perspectives from the unique vantage point of a 40 year stint in academic finance (3 years in a PhD program and 37 years as a professor) coupled with being a follower of Jesus Christ. Obviously, any deviations from biblical theology are solely the responsibility of this author. Every effort is made to be faithful to the Christian worldview while engaging in various finance topics.

These are “living” documents in that they will be refined over time. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated. You are welcome to forward these documents, but please respect the copyright. If you are a publisher, please contact me directly.

Op-Ed 24-O1: Biblically Responsible Investing Within Efficient Markets is a call for the BRI community to birth a “Virtuous Vanguard.” With the emergence and maturation of the Biblically Responsible Investing (BRI) community, the time has come to create BRI-based instruments (e.g., ETFs) that combine the low cost, passive investment approaches with some form of “Mere Christianity” vetting.

Op-Ed 24-O2: ESG or ESV: Implications for Firm Structure identifies two distinct firm structures that are drawn from these two perspectives. Specifically, two mutually exclusive theories of the firm are reviewed, environmental, social, and governance (ESG)-based and enhancing shareholder value (ESV)-based. Biblically, we know God is the owner of everything, including financial instruments. Further, there is ample evidence of a God-orchestrated hierarchical structure. Adam and Eve were to serve in a fiduciary capacity to manage God’s resources in a prescribed manner complete with responsibilities and restrictions. In many respects, it is the fact of human’s being created in God’s image (Latin: imago dei) that separates an ESV-focus and an ESG-focus.

Op-Ed 24-O3: Economic Prediction and the Christian Worldview explores the limits of economic prediction within the context of personal investing, specifically from a Christian worldview. We conclude that great caution should be exercised when making financial decisions based on one’s economic predictions. As a rule, we are much better off in our financial decisions when based on the humble admission that our own economic predictions are most often severely flawed. Significant improvement to our personal wealth is likely when starting with the following assumption: Better financial decisions are made when conceding little, if any, economic forecasting ability.

Published Op-Eds and Other Testimonies:

“It Takes A Voluntary Village,” National Review, (July 28, 2021), online edition, https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/07/it-takes-a-voluntary-village/. Accepted in July 2021.

“Restoring the Crumbling Foundations of Corporate America,” National Review, (May 7, 2021), online edition, https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/05/restoring-the-crumbling-foundations-of-corporate-america/.

Invited Testifying Witness, United States House of Representatives, Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises, The Impact of the Dodd-Frank Act on Municipal Finance, July 20, 2012. Webcast and written testimony available at http://financialservices.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=303098.

Panelist, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Municipal Finance Field Hearing, July 29, 2011. Served on two panels: Distressed Communities and Derivatives Use in Municipal Finance. Transcripts are available at http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/municipalsecurities/munifieldhearing072911-transcript.txt and opening remarks available at http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/municipalsecurities/statements072911.htm.

Robert E. Brooks
Robert E. Brooks

My research interests include investments, financial risk management, and financial philosophy.