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Prince Charles issues warning about pensions

Thursday - 10/17/2013, 12:50pm  ET

LONDON (AP) -- Prince Charles has warned pension fund managers to move beyond short-term thinking or risk creating a "miserable future" for coming generations.

In a pre-recorded speech delivered Wednesday night, he said the current system of investing pensions with an eye toward quarterly profits will not work for Britain's aging population.

A copy of the speech released Thursday by Charles' office shows the future monarch's concern about possible environmental calamity as he calls for pension funds to be invested in ways that help preserve ecosystems.

He said the world faces a "perfect storm" of overpopulation, increased pollution, overconsumption of finite natural resources, and the "very real and accumulating" risk of catastrophic climate change coupled with higher than ever levels of debt and financial uncertainty.

The future king said the short-term focus on quarterly profits is not adequate against this troubled backdrop, particularly as pension liabilities stretch out many decades. He said investors have a duty to develop a sustainable financial system.

The speech marked a rare foray into the world of high finance for Charles, who is prohibited from becoming directly involved in political matters. He has in the past spoken out strongly about the environment and architecture.


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