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Chicago Booth in the News, Spring 2011, Vol. 2

(Covering March 29 to April 15, 2011)

Here are highlights of the latest Chicago Booth news coverage. The digest below represents only a portion of recent coverage.

Section 1: News coverage of Chicago Booth.

  • BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK. Chicago Booth was featured in an article about the growing number of MBA students who are seeking careers in less conventional spots than Wall Street or at large companies. The article begins with, “When the University of Chicago Booth School of Business first contacted Groupon Inc. in 2009, the school had no idea that the year-old startup would later be valued at $4.75 billion. After hearing about the daily deal coupon site from students and alumni, the school got in touch with Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mason to make the case for hiring business school graduates.” Amit Koren, MBA ’11, interned at Groupon last summer. “I was looking for a place where I could have an immediate impact and grow with the company,” he said in the article published April 15. Read more
  • THE ECONOMIST. Chicago Booth was the first school mentioned in an article headlined, “Go east, young moneyman; Ever more jobs in finance are migrating to growth markets, particularly in Asia,” published April 14. “A lot of my friends are going to Asia and Latin American to do their internships,” said Ben Zhang a first-year Booth student who will do his internship in Hong Kong with Morgan Stanley. “It may be outside their comfort zone, but they see getting some experience there as helpful, since that’s where many of the jobs will be,” he said. This trend is especially true for graduates with cultural links to those countries and Westerners with relevant language skills, said Julie Morton, associate dean of career services. Read more
  • INC. MAGAZINE. Chicago Booth’s course in entrepreneurial selling was named one of the 10 best entrepreneurship courses of 2011, according to an article published April 1. The course is taught by Clinical Associate Professor Craig Wortmann. “Though marketing courses are legion in business schools, sales classes are hens-teeth rare,” the article said. “That’s one reason Craig Wortmann’s class feels so refreshing. The other reason is that Wortmann, a former CEO of two software companies, customizes material for the kind of scared and starving entrepreneurs he once was.” Read more
  • THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. Chicago Booth was one of the schools mentioned in an article headlined “Schools Set Global Track, For Students and Programs,” published April 7. Most business schools now offer some sort of global component in their curriculum to prepare their students for work overseas and to raise the schools’ international profile, according to the article. “Schools like Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, have opened entire campuses overseas,” the article said. Read more
  • POETS AND QUANTS.COM. Chicago Booth’s Executive MBA Program was one of the programs featured in an article headlined “The Most Innovative Global MBA Programs,” posted April 7 on this website for prospective MBA students. “A unique strength of the (Booth EMBA) program is that it boasts three campuses on three continents – downtown Chicago, London and Singapore, making this a true global adventure that helps you build an enduring international network,” the article said. Read more
  • POETS AND QUANTS.COM. The appointment of Kurt Ahlm as associate dean of student recruitment and admissions for the full-time M.B.A. program was covered April 4. “This is a very natural transition for us and for Kurt who has spent nearly nine years in Booth admissions with responsibilities that have included virtually every aspect of the admissions process,” said Stacey Kole, deputy dean. “When the position was vacated last summer, Kurt stepped up and made sure our entire admissions function didn’t miss a beat.” The article also mentioned that Joseph Buck was named associate dean of alumni relations and development. Buck spent the past four years in senior positions in the University of Chicago’s central development office. Read more
  • FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG (Frankfurt, Germany). The appointment of Axel Weber, president of Germany’s central bank, as a visiting professor at Chicago Booth was mentioned in article published March 31. The appointment received press coverage elsewhere Europe and in the U.S. earlier.
  • HISPANIC OUTLOOK MAGAZINE. Chicago Booth is one of the top business schools for under-represented minorities, according to a feature article published April 4. At Booth “it’s a powerhouse networking model for minority M.B.A. students that befits a world-class business school,” the article said. Read more

Section 2: News coverage quoting Chicago Booth faculty.

  • THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. Professor Raghuram Rajan was featured in an article headlined “Rajan Says Governments Can’t Afford Another Crisis,” published March 30. “If you are a country with a youngish population and strong prospects for growth, then sometimes it makes sense for a government to borrow money needed to build things such as infrastructure,” he said. “What is problematic is if slowing economies with aging populations borrow to fund current spending to reduce economic pain – which is what most of the advanced world has been doing.” Professor Rajan was identified as “one of the world’s leading authorities on financial crises.” Read more
  • THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. An op-ed written by Professor Gary Becker titled “Time for a Budget Game-Changer,” was published April 4. “Wanted: A strategy for economic growth, full employment and deficit reduction – all without inflation,” he wrote. “Experience shows how to get there. Credible actions that reduce the rapid growth of federal spending and debt will raise economic growth and lower the unemployment rate. Higher private investment, not more government purchases, is the surest way to increase prosperity.” Professor Becker co-wrote the op-ed with George Shultz, a former Booth dean and former U.S. Secretary of Labor, Treasury and State. A third co-author was John Taylor, a professor at Stanford. Read more
  • SYDNEY MORNING HERALD (Australia). Professor Raghuram Rajan wrote an op-ed titled “Delaying the hard choices comes at a high price,” published April 14. “Democratic governments are not motivated to make decisions with short-term costs but long-term gains, the typical pattern for any investment,” he wrote. “To make such investments, democracies require either brave leadership or an electorate that understands the costs of postponing hard choices. Brave leadership is rare. So, too, is an informed and engaged electorate, because the expert advice offered to voters is so confusing.” Read more
  • BBC RADIO FOUR (London). Professor Randall Kroszner discussed the need to cut U.S. government spending during a four minute interview on the Today program April 13. “It is important for the economic revival to have credible fiscal policy going forward,” he said. “That is going to involve some cuts in spending.” Professor Kroszner also said the tax system in the U.S. needs to be restructured. The interview begins approximately 20 minutes into the program, which can be heard in its entirety using the link below. Read more
  • CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Professor Steven Kaplan was quoted in an article about Groupon’s initial public offering of stock, expected this year. “In the dot-com boom, you could take a bathtub public if it said ‘dot com,’ so it was a very odd time,” he said. “You haven’t seen as many tech IPOs in the last five or 10 years.” Facebook, Zynga, Groupon and Twitter all appear to be good candidates for IPOs, making this year a potentially exciting one for tech companies, Professor Kaplan said in the article published April 9. Read more
  • FORBES. Adjunct Professor Eric Lefkofsky was featured in a Q&A interview headlined “New Billionaire Eric Lefkofsky Talks About Groupon and Tech Investing,” published April 4. When asked for the one trait that makes him a superior investor, he responded “I don’t think of myself as a great investor. I’m good at helping entrepreneurs build great technology businesses. There is a difference and I tend to stay focused on the latter.” Professor Lefkofsky also talked about why Silicon Valley won’t always be the country’s high tech hub. Read more
  • BUSINESS TIMES (Singapore). Professor Raghuram Rajan published an op-ed titled “Emerging out of the growth ditch,” April 5. “Developed countries, hobbled by high levels of household and government debt, are hoping that emerging markets will shoulder the burden of expanding global consumption and investment,” he wrote, but added “A shift in global growth to emerging markets requires several changes in the financial infrastructure.
  • INDIA TODAY. Professor Raghuram Rajan was named one of the top 10 overseas Indians by this leading magazine. He was “one of the first economists to recognize the flaws on Wall Street which led to the U.S. and global financial crisis,” the magazine said, noting that Professor Rajan heads a poll by The Economist of thinkers with the most important ideas for a post-crisis world. Fault Lines, his latest book, “is considered a must-read for economic observers.” The top 10 list also includes L.N. Mittal, owner of ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel company and Ajit Jain, a top executive at Berkshire Hathaway. The list was published April 10. Read more
  • NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO. Professor Randall Kroszner appeared on All Things Considered in a story about the recent decline in the U.S. unemployment rate. “We’re starting to see balanced job growth in manufacturing and in the services sector,” he said. And, after hiring people just as temporary workers, more companies are now bringing them on as permanent employees. “It shows that businesses are more confident about the future.” The story was broadcast April 1. Read more
  • NEW DELHI TELEVISION (NDTV). Professor Raghuram Rajan discussed the rate increase expected by the European Central Bank during a live interview April 6. He said the ECB is making the move partly because it’s uncomfortable staying low for a considerable time and partly because Germany plans a much bigger part in the policy discussions in the euro zone. Read more
  • MARKETPLACE RADIO. Professor Anil Kashyap was featured in a story about the Federal Reserve naming banks that borrowed from its discount window during the financial crisis. Borrowing from the discount window is typically done when a bank has no other options, according to the report. That stigma has led banks to avoid it as much as possible, Professor Kashyap said, even if they might have needed it. The story was broadcast March 31.
  • CTV TELVISION NEWS (Canada). Scorecasting, the new book by Professor Tobias Moskowitz, was reviewed in an article headlined “Hometown hockey success: bias or economics?,” posted on the network’s website April 5. “Scorecasting is the latest book to use the Freakonomics recipe for publishing success,” the review said. “Take one University of Chicago economist, one journalist, and use economics to prove that conventional wisdom is wrong.”
  • SCIENCE MAGAZINE. Research by Professor Nicholas Epley was featured in an article headlined “Couples Sometimes Communicate No Better Than Strangers,” published April 2. “Our problem in communicating with friends and spouses is that we have an illusion of insight,” he said. “Getting close to someone appears to create the illusion of understanding more than actual understanding.” Co-authors of the research include Travis Carter, a postdoctoral fellow at Booth’s Center for Decision Research, and Boaz Keysar, a professor in psychology at the University of Chicago. Read more
  • CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Research by Professor Richard Thaler was featured in an article about the confusion most people face when trying to decide where to invest their retirement savings. When he showed university employees a list of mutual funds for their 401(k), people simply chose everything on the list, the article said. When he provided a different list, they chose all of those funds, too. The choices show that many people have no idea how to pick an appropriate blend of stock and bond funds, “the most crucial decision of investing,” according to the March 31 article. Read more
  • THE TIMES OF LONDON. Professor Robert Fogel’s latest book is “an invaluable source of information for those who are concerned with the health of humanity, although it is not for the faint-hearted,” according to a review published March 31. The book, The Changing Body: Health, Nutrition and Human Development in the Western World since 1700, has “a pleasing unity in style and presentation,” said the review, published in The Times Higher Education section. Read more
  • HUFFINGTON POST. Research by Professor Matthew Gentzkow was featured in an article headlined “As Internet Use Grows, Is It Polarizing Political Views?” published March 29. Professor Gentzkow’s research found that people with relatively extreme political views not only viewed more extreme sites, but also spent more time on centrist sites and even sites that diverged with their points of view, the article said. “There is little evidence that the Internet is leading people to segregate ideologically and become polarized in news consumption,” he said. Read more
  • WFLD-TV (Chicago). Associate Professor Aparna Labroo was interviewed live on Good Day Chicago, discussing the practice of “downsizing” of some consumer packaged goods. One of the ways companies are passing higher costs on to consumers is to reduce the contents of a package but keep the package price the same as it was before, she said. “Sometimes it is happening in ways that are not entirely evident to the consumer,” Professor Labroo said in the April 13 broadcast. For example, a cereal box may be just as wide and tall as it was before, but not as thick, she said.
  • WBBM RADIO (Chicago). Professor Randall Kroszner discussed the U.S. economy during a live, five minute interview April 6. “We seem to be having a self-sustaining recovery in employment,” he said, noting that job growth is coming from the private sector, not the government sector. During the next few months Professor Kroszner looks for an uptick in inflation, but he expects it to stay within the range that is acceptable to the Federal Reserve.
  • WBEZ RADIO (Chicago). Professor Chad Syverson was featured in story about the dilemma facing business owners whose prices are rising. Producer prices have bigger swings up and down than consumer prices, he said, adding that businesses decide to raise prices to customers when they determine that their own higher costs aren’t temporary. The story was broadcast April 11. Read more
  • PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER. Professor Luigi Zingales was cited in an editorial headlined “TARP bailout failed homeowners,” published April 5. “If the alternative was indeed the abyss, TARP was clearly an unqualified success,” he said. While he agreed that government intervention was necessary, he believes alternatives better than TARP should have been considered. “TARP was the largest welfare program for corporations and their investors ever created in the history of mankind,” Professor Zingales told TARP’s congressional oversight committee in March. Read more
  • HUFFINGTON POST. Following Professor Eugene Fama’s Three Factor Model for equities is a simple step to increase investment returns, according to a commentary posted March 29. “If you are not familiar with the research of Eugene Fama and Kenneth French, take the time to learn what the largest and most sophisticated investors in the world know about investing,” the article said. “You won’t find this information in the financial media or at the office of your retail broker.” Read more
  • CHOSUN ILBO (Seoul, Korea). Professor Anil Kashyap was quoted in an article about the economic impact of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. The article was published April 3.
  • WTVF-TV (Nashville). Research by Professor Ayelet Fishbach was featured in a story on this television station’s website headlined “Calling a food ‘healthy’ may make you hungrier.” The research found that people who were asked to taste food described as “healthy” reported being hungrier afterward than people who ate the same food when it was described as “tasty.” The research was co-authored by Stacey Finkelstein, a Ph.D. student at Booth.
  • REUTERS. Professor Steven Kaplan was quoted in an article about the initial public offering of stock by Apollo Global Management which raised $565.4 million. “The stock market is in reasonably good shape and Apollo has weathered the crisis reasonably well,” he said. “There is a momentum factor for them.” Read more
  • MSNBC.COM. Professor Jean-Pierre Dube was quoted in an article about Dish Network’s pending purchase of Blockbuster’s assets out of bankruptcy. Blockbuster “still has a lot of customer recognition,” he said, adding that it will be interesting to see if Dish Network will be able to establish itself in a market already dominated by others like Netflix. The article was published April 6. Read more
  • MORNINGSTAR.COM. Research by Professor Haresh Sapra on corporate governance and innovation was featured in an article posted March 16. “Being a CEO comes with certain perks like being able to take on projects or buying companies that the CEO likes, sometimes at the expense of shareholders,” Professor Sapra wrote. To get companies to innovate, anti-takeover laws must either be absent or very severe, he said. The article appeared earlier in Capital Ideas, a Chicago Booth publication highlighting faculty research.
  • BLOOMBERG NEWS. Professor Steven Kaplan was quoted in an article headlined “Corporate Jets Often First Thing to Go After Leveraged Buyouts,” published April 8. “What the good investors do is go into a company, look for fat, and these guys are pretty good at removing it,” he said. “The trick is not to remove the muscle with the fat.” Read more

Section 3: Chicago Booth students and alumni in the news.

  • FINANCIAL TIMES. Camille Seghesio, MBA’ 99 was featured in an article about MBA graduates in key roles at family businesses. An MBA is an invaluable tool for young managers entering the family business, she said. “You’re only the product of your own experiences. If you have a child starting in the family firm, an MBA might be the only time they get any outside experience.” She is export director at the Seghesio family vineyard in California. The article was published April 4. Read more
  • THE TIMES OF LONDON. Zeynep Yildirim, a student in the Executive MBA program in London, was featured in an article headlined “Take the global view of keeping it all in the family; Business is more complex when relatives are involved,” published April 6. Her family owns a large shopping mall in Turkey. “Thirty years ago when my father and his business partner started, the competition was only local,” she said. “Now with globalization I need much broader skills and a large global network to maintain success. If your only experience is your family business your perspectives can become limited. An MBA extends your horizons.”
  • U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT. A company formed by Ashish Rangnekar, MBA ’11 was featured in an article headlined “These test prep applications can help boost your score via unconventional means,” published April 5. Watermelon Express “received funding from the same Web-savvy group that cofounded and provided financial backing to the popular discount site Groupon,” the article said. Prospective test takers can purchase study kits for their computers, iPhones, or iPads for the LSAT, MCAT, GRE, GMAT, and SAT. “We are not building apps that are just flashcards,” Rangnekar said. “This is a very comprehensive way to study.”
  • ENTREPRENEUR MAGAZINE. Sean Harper, MBA ’99 and Josh Krall, MBA ’99 were featured in an article headlined “Three Common Marketing Mistakes and How to Fix Them,” published April 13. Harper and Krall are co-founders of FeeFighters, a comparison-shopping website for credit card processing. After renaming the company from Transparent Financial Services to Fee Fighters last year to be more appealing to customers, the company also added useful content to the website such as weekly videos, a free e-book, a $25 incentive referral card for existing customers, and an active Twitter stream on the topic of credit card processing, the article said. Read more