In many ways, the Main Street way is a return to the way enterprise was financed before we invented the Wall Street way. But with this difference.
In pre-industrial times, free enterprise operated at a scale that made it practical for a few wealthy merchants to form a joint venture sufficient to fund the sea voyages that were the primary form of large scale enterprise in the Golden Age of Free Enterprise.
In our post-Industrial times, industry has changed the scale of enterprise, irreversibly. Having invented the mass market economy, with all the benefits of “bigger, better, faster, cheaper”, it feels unlikely that we will ever return to a smaller scale with fewer choices, more cost from less efficiency.
However, in addition to scaling choice, we have also scaled our superfunds for social benefit, mostly through the invention of pensions as an evolutionary adaption to the new industrial reality of retirement.
These superfunds have this power that we as individuals do not. They have the power to negotiate with post-industrial enterprise operating at mass market scale.
Like the merchant adventurers of old, the stewards of our pensions and other superfunds can sit down around a table with enterprise leaders, and work out the terms of an investment, including agreement on strategies for generating cash flows, equities for underwriting agreed strategies and priorities for sharing in cash flows generated by successful execution of the agreed strategy.
Unlike merchant adventurers, who were negotiating with their own money, for their own proper purpose, our superfund superfiduciaries are negotiating with other people’s money – our money – for a social benefit: to generate adequate fiduciary cash flows, indefinitely, so they can successfully achieve their fiduciary purpose, forever.