What is a Social Impact Bond?

New Financial Product – or Societal Economic Hammer

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™

At a time when government finances are stretched there is growing interest in finding new ways to fund public services [healthcare, for example] which improve social outcomes [public health]. And, one new funding model currently being tested, for the past decade in the United Kingdom, is Social Impact Bonds (SIBs).

Definition

A SIB is a form of payment by results (PBR) in which funding is obtained from private investors to pay for interventions to improve social outcomes. If these interventions succeed in improving outcomes, they should result in savings to the Government and provide wider benefits to society. Of course, as part of a SIB, the Government agrees to pay a proportion of these savings back to the investors. If outcomes do not improve, investors do not receive a return on their investment.

Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_impact_bond

Wall Street’s Securitization

Wall Street can securitize almost any asset for a commission, or to hold it for profit or loss. Remember David Bowie bonds?

“Securitization” is the process through which an issuer creates a financial instrument by combining other financial assets and then marketing different tiers of the repackaged instruments to investors. The process can encompass any type of financial asset and promotes liquidity in the marketplace.

Link: http://thehealthcareblog.com/blog/2012/03/05/could-social-impact-bonds-help-restore-public-budgets/

SIBs

SIBs may be an example of securitization. By combining small debt into one large pool, the issuer can divide the large pool into smaller pieces based on each individual bond’s inherent risk of default, and then sell those smaller pieces to investors. The process creates liquidity by enabling smaller investors to purchase shares in a larger asset pool. Individual retail buyers, like physician-investors and others, are able to purchase portions the bond. Without the securitization, retail investors might not be able to afford to buy into a large pool of bonds.

Read more: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/securitization.asp#ixzz1oGtOPTvZ

Assessment

This is the first time we’ve discussed SIBs on this ME-P. But, they should get much more attention from our CPA, investment advisor [IA] and financial advisory [FA] readers now that President Obama has announced his support for this British idea like getting private investors to pay for public services such as housing for the homeless, health care for vulnerable populations; or even education. It could work for anything that can save the Government money in the long run, but costs money up front, as long as we can measure it.

Link: http://www.fastcompany.com/1728321/the-most-exciting-00003-of-obama-s-budget-social-impact-bonds

Conclusion

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One Response

  1. 2014 Outlook for Socially Responsible Investing

    An opinion by Amy Domini of Domini Social Investments.

    http://www.greenmoneyjournal.com/december-2014/domini/

    Barington

    Like

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