April 25, 2017

Bookshelf: Harvard Business School's moral failure


Harvard Business School, the Limits of Capitalism, and the Moral Failure of the MBA Elite
By Duff McDonald 

James B Stewart, NY Times - He drives home the point in chapter after chapter, picking up steam in more recent decades: Harvard, he maintains, provided the ideological underpinnings for the junk-bond-induced takeover mania and resulting scandals of the 1980s; the corporate scandals of the 2000s; the egregious increase in the pay gap between chief executives and ordinary employees; the real estate mortgage bubble and ensuing financial crisis; even the election of Donald Trump. In McDonald’s view, the school has contributed to pretty much every bad thing that has happened in American business and the economy in the last century. In the wake of whatever scandal or financial collapse or recession to which it has contributed, it wipes its hands, distances itself and still has the nerve to put forth its experts as the solution to problem.

In virtually every instance, McDonald contends, Harvard has obsessively pursued money, sending a disproportionate number of its graduates to consulting firms beginning in the 1950s (it was all but synonymous with McKinsey), to Wall Street in the 1980s and to entrepreneurial start-ups once initial public offerings became the rage in the 1990s — and provided intellectual justifications for its actions. Much of that wealth found its way back to the school itself. Its professors earn enormous sums as consultants to businesses populated by their former students, who also give generously to their alma mater: Its endowment stood at $3.3 billion by 2015, a dedicated portion of the university’s enormous $32.7 billion.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

James B Stewart has been one of the best and most insightful financial writers on the for a lot of years. He was one of the few sage voices calling out warnings from the wilderness about the dangers and potential pitfalls of the so-called secondary and derivatives markets. That was back in the 1990s, long before Clinton and Co. dismantled Glass-Steagall and other critical market protections. If only more folks had paid attention to Mr Stewart then---
and on it continues...