Time is up for short-term thinking in capitalism December 2, 2009 : 3:56 PM

On Friday, David Blood and I published an op-ed in the Financial Times in which we wrote:

"Why do investors and business leaders continue to focus on the short-term and ignore the fact that businesses that think long-term end up more competitive and profitable? Behavioral economists believe they have the answer: our brains are hard-wired to think short-term because evolution has rewarded serial short-term successes such as avoiding predators and other dangers that faced our ancestors. Their survival ensured our existence - but predisposed us to the same kind of short-term thinking. As a result, even though our world is very different from theirs, long-term decision-making remains the exception, not the rule."

"The global financial crisis had its origins in short-term, unsustainable strategies and actions. Before the crisis and since, we (and others) have called for a more long-term and responsible form of capitalism - what we call "sustainable capitalism". Yet despite our collective best efforts, one year on, the capital markets seem to be reverting to business as usual."