Hi, I'm David Epstein. I started the Cross Capital Initiative in order to get investors and the broader financial and business communities more involved in reducing the threats of nuclear weapons and other existential and systemic threats.
Other than for testing, there has not been a nuclear detonation since the waning days of WWII. There had also not been a catastrophic global pandemic since just after WWI… until the coronavirus.
It was a mistake for global leaders to ignore warnings over the last several years about a pandemic, with that resistance continuing even after the pandemic had begun. Similarly, it is a mistake to assume our 75-year run of luck in avoiding nuclear conflict will not run out, and clearly governments are not doing everything they can to head off a nuclear conflict in the not-too-distant future.
As COVID-19 should also make abundantly clear, the private sector, along with academia and all corners of civil society, must assist governments to head off major potential catastrophes like pandemics, nuclear conflict, and climate change.
I invite you to read our upcoming inaugural report for some suggestions on where investors and the broader private sector can begin.
What Does "Cross Capital Initiative" Mean?
On Wall Street, where I spent my career, "cross capital" general refers to the different types of securities that make up a corporation's capital structure - equity, convertibles, non-convertible debt and preferreds, and so on.
With this new "Initiative," I hope to encourage traditional Wall Street, the sustainable investing community on Wall Street and beyond, the philanthropic community, and nuclear non-proliferation community to combine traditional tools of corporate finance with the concepts of concessionary and catalytic capital. We will all need these different types of capital, using novel financial frameworks and tools that expand on work already done in the worlds of conservation and climate finance, in order to solve the most vexing nuclear and other existential issues.
David Epstein's Bio
I am currently a Fellow at the N Square Innovators Network. N Square brings together nuclear experts and experts in other fields such as finance, technology, and media in order to devise innovative ways to reduce the threats of nuclear weapons.
Previously, I spent nearly 20 years as a financial research analyst on Wall Street. From 2010 through early 2019 I worked at investment bank Cowen Inc. (and CRT before being purchased by Cowen). At Cowen/CRT, I published research on debt and equity securities for our institutional clientele.
Before that, I spent nearly 10 years at two multi-billion dollar (AUM) money management firms - Advent and Froley Revy - where I also focused on both debt and equity.
I have covered many sectors over the years including energy, financial services, shipping, healthcare, utilities, and telecommunications.
I am a Chartered Financial Analyst and have an MBA in Finance from UCLA and BS in Psychology from Johns Hopkins.