Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

It doesn't take a $100 million SoftBank fund or a $1 billion Bank of America initiative to help increase racial equality in the United States.

The state of play: There is much that concerned investors can do to help curtail the racial wealth gap and general systemic racial inequality that is at the heart of the protests currently happening in the U.S. and around the world.

What they're saying: Cornerstone Capital Group, an investment adviser focusing on socially conscious investing, wrote a white paper in 2018 detailing investment changes portfolio managers and investors could make to help reduce the racial wealth gap (see above).

  • "Wealth inequality among racial and ethnic groups in the United States results from structural racism dating to the beginning of the republic," Cornerstone said in the paper.
  • "Investors can contribute to the narrowing of economic disparities through a dedicated emphasis on investing in underserved minority communities."

Beyond impact investing, there are major steps to be taken in corporate America, according to Anthony Coley, a former U.S. Treasury official and senior executive at Managed Funds Association, who is now the founder of Corner Office Strategies.

  • "Collectively and individually, corporate America must commit to reverse the legacy of systemic discrimination," Coley writes in a commentary for Barron's.
  • "Giving money to frontline organizations is good (and necessary) but it is not nearly enough. Real change requires us to rethink the role of business in a free market economy. Take a look at what the Business Roundtable is doing in this area."

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Aug 19, 2020 - Economy & Business

Investors still don't believe the stock market's rally can last

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The S&P 500 closed at a new all-time high on Tuesday and has rallied by around 52% since hitting its low point on March 23 — the best run the index has ever had in such a short time.

The state of play: While the market has continued to rise for the past five months, most investors have been incredulous about the sustainability of gains.

Deadly Hurricane Zeta churns inland after lashing Louisiana

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a downed power line electrocuted a 55-year-old in Louisiana as the storm moved into Alabama overnight.

What's happening: After "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi, it was "racing north-northeastward," continuing "life-threatening surge and strong winds continue over southern Mississippi and southern Alabama" late Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said.

19 mins ago - World

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China