The private sector should lead social change

Private companies have a responsibility to promote social change, billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones told CNBC on Friday.

“If we’re going to have true social change, it’s going to come through the private sector,” he told “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer in an exclusive interview. “And, boy, now’s the time we need it.”

Jones, who founded the Robin Hood Foundation and now runs the non-profit research organization Just Capital, said he couldn’t recall a more turbulent time when it comes to social issues.

“I don’t think I’ve seen this kind of social tumult since I was a kid in the ’60s and ’70s,” Jones said. “So we need to change things. How are you going to get social change? The biggest way is there’s a $19 trillion private economy.”

Four times the size of the public sector and 40 times the size of the philanthropic sector, the private sector should bear a greater burden to tackle wealth disparity and other “social fissures and ruptures,” the billionaire said.

“You’ve got half the country left behind,” he said. “The way that you change things is that you’ve got to first go to the American people, and that’s what we did. We said, ‘What is it that you want to see that defines corporate justness?'”

That question brought on the birth of Just Capital, which ranks companies based on how much they care about and drive social progress. The company just rolled out an exchange-traded fund with the top 100 companies on its list, which, on average, earn 7 percent higher returns on equity than their less “just” counterparts, Jones told Cramer.

Even so, social discrepancies persist, and some of them threaten business as we know it, he said.

“Five years ago, it was apparent even then, I think, that capitalism needed to be modernized,” Jones told Cramer. “I just saw this poll – 51 percent of millennials from 18 to 29 either don’t believe or [are] opposed to capitalism.”

“Your show’s going to have a viewership of about 15 in about 10 or 15 years,” he joked. “Now, we’ve got to change this.”

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