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Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money
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Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  121 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Could there ever be an alternative stock exchange dedicated to slow, small, and local? Could a million American families get their food from CSAs? What if you had to invest 50 percent of your assets within 50 miles of where you live?Such questions-at the heart of slow money-represent the first steps on our path to a new economy.

Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money prese
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published November 12th 2008 by Chelsea Green Publishing Company (first published 2008)
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While Tasch has great intentions to tell about Slow Money, and a truly great idea, he doesn't really ever say what he means. Instead he has collected several essays that often repeat themselves, sound rather arrogant, go on unnecessary tangents and tell little to nothing about what slow money means, in my neighborhood and yours. I understand that I need to invest like an earthworm, but how?
Great ideas, horrible execution. Trite, repetitive, throwing out tentative ideas and what if this, what if that. Low on statistics and any coherent thinking. I suppose he is trying to be poetic, yes, but offers nothing in the way of a concrete new vision or action plan for the reader. Just repeating how much globalization and factory farming suck.
There is an important argument for locally focused investment that I believe all of us should be weighing.

This book completely fails to make that argument.

There are three or four wonderful ideas I this book, but it is overwritten to the point of being nearly comical.
Ed Soehnel
The book is full of great facts and information used to bolster the author's argument, which is the need to re-deploy our investment dollars into natural, organic, and sustainable farm and food enterprises that support local economies and food systems. The book accomplished that goal quite nicely.

I found the author's writing style difficult to follow because I was never quite sure where he was going. However, the author is an excellent writer with a great sense for use of the right words to mak
Praveen Madan
Aug 15, 2009 Praveen Madan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to learn about alternatives to current economic system
This is a really interesting book - I found it to be part manifesto, part economic poetry, and part alternate worldview. In summary, the book makes the case that we have all become slaves of the current economic system that is creating unsustainable growth, ecological disasters, uneven distribution of wealth, and collapse of local economies and communities. The book argues that individual investors and foundations need to align their investment decisions with the values they consider important a ...more
I get the whole Slow Food thing. I'm a member of Slow Food SF and Slow Food Berkeley (not active other than volunteering). Most of my friends in the Bay Area are also members and more active than myself. I get it. I've read Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser. I've read Wes Jackson, Joel Salatin, Vandana Shiva and Wendel Berry. I get it.

Adapting this philosophy to investing is obvious. However, it's a paradox. It's like saying "I really like the taste of a Big Mac, but I'm only going to eat organi
I've been more and more uneasy with the whole concept of capitalism as a means to decision making. There are aspects of it that are great, and I love the acid test, did or did it not make money? There are other parts that are really troublesome. As with any man-made system, it can be manipulated, and not always for the good. I've also read about slow food, and that is an easier concept to grasp. The idea of slow money gets at those issues like corporate CEOs focused on making more for themselves ...more
Tasch proposes a new paradigm in investment and cultural literacy, beginning with the principle that agriculture led us into the industrial age and must be reassessed in order to get us out. He ties together many schools of thought as applied to the tension between industrial finance and agriculture, such as mathematics ("every formula is either complete and inconsistent, or consistent and incomplete"), economics ("either you are a true fiduciary or a false Malthusian'), environmentalism (recoun ...more
I love the idea of Slow Money and think it makes a lot of sense to generate create new businesses around sustainable food. This book though is pretty terribly written. The core concept was made clear pretty quickly and then the book kinda just rambles from section to section and it's unclear how the sections are tied together. I don't think it's worth reading this book. You can just wikipedia "Slow Money" and get to the same level of understanding vs. reading 200 pages.
Feb 28, 2011 Sherry rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People tired of slaving away for the bottom line.
If you understand and believe in Slow Food, you'll realize that we need Slow Money to support it.

Money investments today are all about making as much money as fast as you can. This means the farmer cannot let a field lie fallow. The farmer must use more and more artificial fertilizer to maximize his harvest. He must use monoculture so everything is uniform and can be treated the "optimum" way. Huge amounts of toxic chemicals are used to kill pests. Soil is made toxic and infertile. Superbugs wi
Woody Tasch has some inspiring, prescient visions for a new world economy, and so all in all, I'm glad I read the book. Nevertheless, he gets preachy at times, has a tendency to cherry-pick statistics to prove a point, go on loosely connected tangents, and repeat himself. i.e., he needs an editor. Parsing through the pages however, and you'll find some snippets worth referencing. Here's just one example:

"Is 'local' a specific number of miles from Point A to Point B? Is it a specific political or
Jenn Raley
Fascinating and poignant. Full of great quotes and innovative ideas. Certainly food for thought.

A better title might have been "Musings on..." rather than "Inquiries into...". More a collection of rambling essays than a book, the topics are wide-ranging and often not very cohesive.

That said, the financial innovations Tasch suggests are worthy of exploration, and it is helpful to learn in the epilogue that the Slow Money movement has in fact been launched. The proposals are necessarily connected
Slow money. . ."investing as if food, farms, and fertility mattered". I started this book and did not finish. Would like to pick it up again someday. It is an organization that invests in farms/organizations who are choosing a different path. . .
May 14, 2009 Melissa marked it as to-read
I got two chapters in and I had to bring this back to the library because there are many holds on it-- *sidebar: isn't that awful, I could not read this tiny books in 3 whole weeks!!!*

It was about economics, not exactly light, but not awful. Premise: invest your $$$ in things that have a positive impact on the planet and humanity not just those that make $$$$$$ is a worthwhile book, and I will try it again when my turn comes round. Luckily (or not) I don't have any money to put anywhere so
Mar 22, 2014 Jason rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Jason by: A friend and mentor
A MUST read!
A rich lode of ideas and facts related to our current economic focus and misuse of the soil we depend on. I've taken notes on this, and need to reread it (again). I wish it was organized differently, somehow; or that a more coherent large-scale vision of applying principles in this book was presented. However, perhaps such a vision is up to us, to create as we go. In many ways, I think this one is a MUST READ for anyone talking about economics
Andre Cormier
Woody Tasch articulates what many of us already know or feel is wrong with our current structure in society. It's an invitation to action and acknowledgement that we must first have a vision of the future, no matter how farfetched it may seem to some, of what a sustainable future looks like, how it can be achieved, and an ordering of priorities that starts with the place where are sustenance begins, the soil.
Ultimately, I think he seemed like more of a poet than a persuasive writer. I agree with his position and I share his concern with the problems in our world... and yet there were very few action items for an individual to take - mostly high level pipe dreams, philosophical quotes, and page after page of scary sounding statistics (which after a while are difficult to even digest).
Same as other reviewers have noted, I really wanted to love this book but had difficulty getting through it. The subject matter was compelling and the book is chock full of great quotes and factoids. However, the writing was laborious and the overall flow was difficult to follow.
The majority of this book seems to be personal essay and philosophizing, which I suppose the title suggests. There were a few very good suggestions for practical steps to shift the emphasis in financial investing to more sustainable activities.
I wanted to love this new book and embrace the concept of slow money, but this book drove me crazy. Too much general preaching about local/sustainable/green/community in all the catch phrase ways.
Great ideas but it is painfully clear that Mr. Tasch is an investor first and a writer second. Even though this topic is right up my alley, Tasch couldn't hold my interest... Bummer.
After I heard about this book on NPR, I went out, bought it, and read it in one day. It was amazing, and I was lucky enough to meet the author and have him sign it when he came to UMF!
This book presents interesting ideas. Supporting local farmers, farmers' markets, growing locally, spending locally, and redesigning one's lifestyle can make a difference.
Holland Saltsman
Read Slow Money for an upcoming discussion at the next Slow Food book club. Was an interesting, insightful read but I'm hoping the club as a whole is able to draw more out of it.
Katherine Collins
This book reminds us that faster and more global are not the only directions – we can choose, at least some of the time, slower and more local.
A solid introduction into the philosophical nature of Slow Money. Lacks pragmatism and immediate "how do you implement this" practicality.
I could not get through this book, but my husband really enjoyed it!
Ben Levine
Thought provoking, but a bit shallow at times.
Feb 19, 2012 Michael is currently reading it
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Woody Tasch is Chairman and President of Slow Money, a 501 c 3 formed in 2008 to catalyze the flow of investment capital to small food enterprises and to promote new principles of fiduciary responsibility to support sustainable agriculture and the emergence of a restorative economy. For ten years, through 2008, Tasch was Chairman of Investors' Circle, a network of angel investors, family offices, ...more
More about Woody Tasch...
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“Products produced cheaply create ugly work lives and ugly households and ugly communities. Profits produced quickly cannot purchase patience and care. Patience is beautiful. Restraint and care are beautiful. Peace is beautiful. A small, diversified organic farm is beautiful.” 2 likes
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