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Peter Kinder Columns

Photo Of: Peter D. Kinder

Peter D. Kinder is an independent consultant on socially responsible investing and a blogger at  He is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Mr. Kinder co-founded KLD Research & Analytics, Inc. in 1988 and served as its president and board chair until its sale in 2009 to Risk Metrics Group (now owned by MSCI).  Then, KLD served over 400 institutional clients and was the world’s leading provider of social investment research and indices. 

The company created the first index to gauge the performance of socially screened portfolios – the KLD 400 which marked its 20th year in 2010.  By 2009, KLD’s index family numbered over 20.  Its research underlay the first SRI indexed mutual fund and exchange traded fund (ETF) and many other investment vehicles.  The company developed the first electronic and then the first on-line social investment research platform.

Among his books are:  Ethical Investing (1984); The Social Investment Almanac (1992); and Investing for Good (1993).  Peter has published numerous articles and white papers on legal issues affecting SRI, the evolving nature of the corporation, fiduciary duties of boards and the passing scene.  He has spoken at events on four continents.

Peter Kinder serves on the boards of The Capital Institute, the Center for Political Accountability and the Southern Vermont Arts Center.  He is on the finance advisory committee of the Wallace Global Fund, the President’s Council of CERES and the Marlboro College MBA Program Circle of Advisers.  He served two terms on the board of the U.S. Social Investment Forum, the SRI trade organization, one as vice chair.  He was a co-founder and principal (1997-2000) of Domini Social Investments, LLC.

Peter was admitted to the bar in Ohio (1973), the District of Columbia (1977), Massachusetts (1978) and the Supreme Court of the United States (1978).  From 1973 to 1988, Mr. Kinder practiced law, first as an assistant attorney general in Ohio, then in Boston as a staff lawyer for a foundation and finally in private practice.  He specialized in administrative law and corporate regulation.  He received an A.B. in History from Princeton University in 1970 and a J.D. from Ohio State University in 1973, both with honors. 

November 26, 2013 Joseph & Pharaoh: A Lesson for a Time of Climate Change

Source: Peter D. Kinder

I’ve been reading Global Crisis: War, Climate Change & Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century (Yale Univ. Press, 2013) by Ohio State history professor Geoffrey Parker. [more]

February 8, 2013 Railroads: The Octopus & Captive Shippers Yesterday & Today

Source: Peter D. Kinder

Few books read once in adolescence made as permanent an impression on me as Frank Norris’s novel, The Octopus: A Story of California (1901). Wheat farmers squeezed into financial ruin by a railroad’s ability to extract monopoly...[more]

October 1, 2012 Air Pollution, Coal and Charles Dickens

Source: Peter D. Kinder

I’ve found few people credit my descriptions of the air pollution accepted as normal in the late 1940s and 1950s. But Charles Dickens had described them in the aptly named – on several levels – Bleak House a hundred years...[more]

September 27, 2012 The Thalidomide Apology: A Study in Corporate Accountability

Source: Peter Kinder

"German drug firm makes 1st apology for thalidomide." So reads the headline of an August 31 Associated Press story by Frank Jordans and Maria Cheng.[1] Gruenenthal Group's chief executive said the company wanted to...[more]

December 20, 2011 Economic Policy: The Dogs that are Howling

Source: Peter Kinder

Economic policy in the West looks like an Alaskan Iditarod race. Long lines of tightly-harnessed economists, bankers and politicians strain to pull sleds into a frozen, trackless, horizonless waste. Hide-encased drivers –...[more]

September 19, 2011 Hobbes’s Choice: ‘Life of Man’ & Government

Source: Peter D. Kinder

Fifteen years ago, few with power in Massachusetts exercised it with more relish and publicity than then Boston University president, John Silber. As one wag put it, Silber was like life in Thomas Hobbes’s state of nature: ...[more]

August 10, 2011 The Economy, The Deficit & Jobs: The President’s Max Bialystock Moment

Source: Peter Kinder,Featured Commentator

‘It’s the economy, stupid!’ That phrase widely attributed to Bill Clinton in his successful 1992 campaign spotlights what’s been wrong with our past two Democratic presidents. They substituted in their minds a mushy, two-word...[more]

June 20, 2011 Two fun films on … Fiduciary Responsibility?!

Source: Peter Kinder

Could there be two fun flicks on fiduciary responsibility? Astonishingly, the answer is ‘yes’, sort of. [more]

June 1, 2011 Keep Your Eyes on the Prize’: How the 60s Misplacements Clarify the Social Security, Medicare, ACA Stakes

Source: Peter Kinder

There is only one essential to keep in mind while under the blather barrage on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Affordable Care: They’re a prize[more]

July 16, 2008 Socially Responsible Investing: The Next New Thing is Already Here

Source: Peter Kinder

I’ve been deeply involved with socially responsible investing – SRI – since 1983. Three times since then I’ve heard, “SRI’s time is here!”[more]

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