Municipal bonds are a powerful financial tool for strengthening communities (see, “These social impact bonds have an old-fashioned name: tax-free munis”). By the same token, stronger communities lower bond risk.
Breckinridge Capital, a $25 billion fixed-income investment advisor, is using a new framework to reward cities for “inclusiveness.”
The 40 indicators account for diversity and tolerance, opportunities for women and environmental performance.
Specifically, the framework follows the Social Progress Index in assessing how a community meets basic human needs for healthcare, sanitation and safety; provides foundations of wellbeing, including environmental quality; and offers opportunities, such as access to advanced education and personal choice.
Inclusive communities attract talent and companies, writes Breckinridge’s Jem Hudson, and feed “a virtuous cycle that benefits all.”