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Autumn 2011, Vol. 2

(Covering September 20 to October 13, 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.

  • THE ECONOMIST. Booth was ranked #1 in its ability to open new career opportunities for students and #1 in student assessment of career services in the magazine’s 2011 ranking of full-time MBA programs published October 13. The top schools in the overall ranking were 1) Tuck, 2) Booth, 3) IMD in Switzerland, 4) Darden, 5) Harvard, 6) Haas, 7) Columbia, 8) Stanford, 9) York University in Canada, and 10) IESE in Spain. Two articles about the ranking are linked below. 
    Read article Read article
  • THE TIMES OF LONDON. Career Services interview slots at Booth are up 6 percent this year, Deputy Dean Stacey Kole said in an article published October 5. “Consulting and marketing are up, as are other corporate roles,” she said. Booth also fared better than most schools in attracting applications for this year’s entering class, the article said. “We have actually expanded our program this year because the quality of the applicant pool was stronger,” Deputy Dean Kole said.
  • CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Booth was featured in the Chicago Confidential column headlined “At business schools, classes go the highest bidder,” published October 13. The course bidding system “pushes faculty to work harder on their teaching,” said Stacey Kole, deputy dean of the Full-time M.B.A. Program. Professor Steven Kaplan and Richard Thaler were also quoted in the column, which ran on the front page of the business section. Read article
  • CNBC TELEVISION. A team of 10 Booth students is competing in CNBC’s “MBA Face-Off,” testing their trading prowess managing a $1 million virtual portfolio of stocks and currencies. They are fictionally trading on the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, AMEX, London Stock Exchange, Australian Securities Exchange as well as currencies in real-time. The nine-week competition ends in November. Read article
  • BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK. Booth was featured in an article about business practitioners who teach at business schools. Groupon co-founders Eric Lefkofsky and Bradley Keywell teach a Booth course on Internet startups, the article noted. In class they are candid about their past failures and often use those moments as teaching examples, said Daniel Shani, MBA ’12, who took the course last year. The article was published October 3. Read article

Section 2: News coverage quoting Chicago Booth faculty.

  • THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. Professor John Cochrane published an op-ed titled “Last Chance to Save the Euro,” September 29. A Greek default won’t destroy Europe’s currency, he wrote. Bailouts will. “I advocated letting Greece go a year and half ago when the crisis first erupted. The chance to save the euro is fading.” Read article
  • FINANCIAL TIMES. Professor Raghuram Rajan published an op-ed titled “The IMF must stop playing second fiddle in Europe,” published September 27. He proposed several action steps. “First, eurozone banks need to be recapitalized. Second, enough funding has to be available so that Italy’s and Spain’s needs can be met, if the markets dry up. Third, Greece has to be managed in a way that does not infect others,” he wrote, adding “The IMF should start taking the lead in managing the crisis.” Read article
  • THE NEW YORK TIMES. Professor Richard Thaler wrote the Economic View column October 8 headlined “Deer in the Headlights, Financially Speaking.” He worries that Americans may be acting like a deer in the headlights, to the detriment of the economic recovery. “They know that there are investments they should be making, investments that are currently ‘on sale,’ but they are waiting to see how things shape up before they act,” he wrote. “Congress certainly suffers from this problem.” 
    Read article
  • BLOOMBERG NEWS. Professor Anil Kashyap published an op-ed titled “Euro Area’s Rescue Options Are Shrinking Fast,” September 29. “There is wide agreement that the status quo is unsustainable, and no one is optimistic about the future,” he wrote. “The elevated cost of borrowing for banks and some governments must be addressed within weeks or at most a couple of months.” Read article
  • BLOOMBERG NEWS. Professor John Cochrane published an op-ed titled “Why Identifying a Bubble Is So Much Trouble,” September 21. “High valuations are, on average, followed by many years of poor returns, and vice versa,” he wrote. “High valuations are not, on average, followed by years of good cash-flow growth, or by even-higher valuations.” Read article
  • NATIONAL AFFAIRS. Professor John Cochrane published an op-ed titled “Inflation and Debt,” in the fall issue of this quarterly journal. “We stand at the brink of disaster,” he wrote. “Today, we face the possibility of a debt crisis, with the consequent financial chaos and inflation, that the Fed cannot control …Our desire to avoid a dangerous inflation should point us in the same direction as just about every other economic indicator and concern: It should point us toward finally bringing our deficits and debt under control and spurring long-term growth.” Read article
  • BLOOMBERG NEWS. Professor Steven Davis published an op-ed titled “Policy Uncertainty Chokes a Recovery,” October 5. “A major factor behind the weak recovery and gloomy outlook is a climate of policy-induced economic uncertainty,” he wrote with two co-authors. “An index we devised shows U.S. policy uncertainty at historically high levels.” Read article
  • CNN.COM. Professor Raghuram Rajan published an op-ed titled “A standby program for the eurozone,” posted October 13. “Eurozone banks have to be recapitalized,” he wrote. “Second, enough funding must be available to meet Italy’s and Spain’s needs over the next year or so if their market access dries up. And, third, Greece, now the sickest man of Europe, must be treated in a way that does not spread the infection to the other countries on the eurozone’s periphery.” Read article
  • THE STRAITS TIMES (Singapore). Professor Luigi Zingales published an op-ed critical of the U.S. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. The Commission “composed mostly of elected officials rather than experts, wasted its time in political squabbles,” he wrote. “Its members could not agree even on how to define subprime mortgages and calculate how many such mortgages there were in the United States at the time of the crisis.” The op-ed was published September 23. Read article
  • LES ECHOS (Paris). An op-ed written by Professor Chad Syverson headlined “How ‘learning by doing’ contributes to productivity growth,” was published September 26. The op-ed was co-written with Professors Steven Levitt and John List from the University of Chicago economics department. 
    Read article
  • CHICAGO TRIBUNE. An opinion article about the U.S. economy written by Professor Emeritus Robert Aliber was published September 25. “The single most important explanation for the U.S. unemployment rate of 9 to 11 percent is that Americans spend $600 billion more a year for imported goods than foreigners spend on U.S. products,” he wrote. If the U.S. can’t induce China and other trading partners to reduce their trade surpluses to no more than 2 percent of their GDP “the U.S. government should adopt an across-the-board tariff of 10 percent to achiever this target.” 
    Read article
  • BLOOMBERG TELEVISION. Professor John Cochrane discussed his prescription for economic growth in the U.S. during an interview with Tom Keene broadcast September 30. Watch video
  • CNBC TELEVISION. Professor Randall Kroszner discussed the European banking crisis during an appearance on the Kudlow Report October 10. “It’s been a slow, painful process” he said, but it seems that European regulators have come to the realization that steps need to be taken to save the banking system. 
    Watch video
  • CNBC TELEVISION. Professor Randall Kroszner was guest host of the Squawk Box program for one hour on October 13. He said he is not forecasting a double dip recession in the U.S., but adds “we aren’t out of the woods yet.” Watch video
  • MARKETPLACE RADIO. Professor Austan Goolsbee discussed the European debt crisis during an interview broadcast September 26. Europe’s banks must undertake real stress tests, own up to the amount of sovereign debt they’re holding on their books and then make plans for recapitalization, he said. 
  • ABC TELEVISION. Professor Austan Goolsbee discussed the U.S. economy during an appearance on “This Week with Christiane Amanpour,” September 25. The program was titled Global Economic Meltdown. 
    Watch video
  • CNBC. Professor Randall Kroszner appeared on The Kudlow Report September 22. He said the recent Federal Reserve Board statement saying there are significant downside risks to the economic outlook is not Fed-speak for a recession. “It is Fed-speak for concern about recession,” he said. Professor Kroszner was a Fed governor from 2006 to 2009.
  • THE WASHINGTON POST. Professor Randall Kroszner said he expects employment to stay at a “very low level,” during a Bloomberg television interview posted on the newspaper’s website Oct. 4. He also talked about Federal Reserve policy. 
  • DOW JONES NEWSWIRES. Professor Raghuram Rajan was one of the signers of a report calling on the world’s biggest economics to expand the role of central banks and give them new powers to ensure financial stability, according to an article published September 20. The report was issued by the Committee of International Economic Policy and Reform and can be seen in its entirely at the link below. 
    Read article
  • CBS TELEVISION. Professor Austan Goolsbee reacted to the new book “Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington and The Education of a President,” during an appearance on The Early Show. “I haven’t read this book, but to borrow a phrase, I lived the reality. And the reports I’ve read about this book bear no resemblance to the reality we lived together,” he said. Professor Goolsbee was chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers from January 2009 to August 2011. The interview was broadcast September 20. Watch video
  • FOX BUSINESS NETWORK. Professor Randall Kroszner said “I don’t see a recession in the cards quite yet. But if something goes wrong in Europe that could make things more likely.” European banks “may need something TARP-like,” he said. “It may be the only way to rebuild confidence.” The interview was broadcast October 3.
  • FOX BUSINESS TELEVISION. Professor Randall Kroszner discussed the U.S. economy during an interview September 30. “We’ve got a lot of challenges ahead,” he said. “It’s not going to be easy, but I think we’re on an okay path. I wouldn’t say we’re on a great path, but an okay path.”
  • NATIONAL PUBLC RADIO. Professor Steven Kaplan was featured in a story titled “2 Portraits Emerge of Mitt Romney The Businessman,” broadcast October 6. “What Bain Capital did (with Romney as CEO) – and was among the first, if not the first, to do it – was to look at the operations before buying a company, as well as after,” Professor Kaplan said, “and try to figure out how can we make it better and then help the management team to improve the company.” Listen to broadcast
  • FORBES. Professor Steven Davis was quoted in an article headlined “A job is becoming a dim memory for many unemployed,” published October 6. “We’re in uncharted territory,” he said. “Those people are going to have inferior outcomes in earnings and employment well beyond the current weakness in the labor market.” Read article
  • THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. Professor Anil Kashyap was included in an article headlined “Stung by ‘Inside Job,’ Economists Pen a Code of Ethics,” October 12. He is one of a number of economists who have opted to disclose, on their websites, all of the organizations for which they have done paid work, the article said. Most of Professor Kashyap’s consulting relationships have been with government entities, like the Federal Reserve, but he also has given paid speeches to companies such as State Farm Insurance. “It seemed to me it was simpler to just show everybody what you do,” he said. 
    Read article
  • WLS-TV (ABC, Chicago). Clinical Professor James Schrager discussed the U.S. auto industry during a story broadcast on the 6 p.m. news October 13. “In order to thrive in a competitive market, it’s all about the product,” he said. “We still have to have American car builders build a product that people love to own – that people will stand in line to buy,” he said. Watch video
  • BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK. Visiting Professor Axel Weber was featured in an article headlined “Ex-Bundesbank’s Weber Warns Debt Challenges Range Beyond Europe,” published October 12. Heavily indebted countries outside Europe that run deficits are in danger of facing surging borrowing costs, he said in a speech at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. 
    Read article
  • INC MAGAZINE. Research by Professor Erik Hurst was featured in an article headlined “A Challenge to the Small Business Image,” published September 26. Small businesses don’t innovate, and most small-business owners have no desire to start, the research found. “Instead, most intend to provide an existing service to an existing customer base,” Professor Hurst said. Read article
  • RESEARCH MAGAZINE. Professor Richard Thaler was featured in an article headlined “How a Freethinking Economist Saved Your Retirement Portfolio.” His work, and the contributions of other behavioral economists, “has influenced everything from which foods are offered to children in school lunch lines, to how highways are designed, to how we make critical decisions about our hard-earned money,” said the article in the October issue. Read article
  • BLOOMBERG TELEVISION. Professor Raghuram Rajan discussed conditions in the banking industry during an appearance on “Bloomberg Surveillance,” September 29. “At some point the amount of capital that the banks are building up will start burning a hole in their pocket and they will start moving to lend,” he said. “The key again is manageable, sensible risk, rather than crazy risk-taking.” 
    Watch video
  • BLOOMBERG NEWS. Professor Steven Kaplan was quoted in an article headlined “UBS Bankers said to Golf in Pebble Beach After Trading Loss.” Employees from the bank’s investment-banking division will spend part of a week golfing with the company’s top clients after reporting a $2.3 billion trading loss, according to the article. “If it made business sense a month ago, it makes business sense today,” Professor Kaplan said. “There’s a benefit to getting in front of your clients. Given what happened, there’s an additional benefit to reassure them.” The article was published September 21. 
    Read article
  • MARKETWATCH. Professor Lubos Pastor was quoted in an article about whether it is better to make big bets in the stock market now or stay in a safe haven. “My advice would be don’t bet the house,” he said. “Stock volatility is currently at more than double the normal levels. Not everyone is in a good position to stomach that volatility.” The article was published October 5. Read article
  • HAARETZ (Israel). Research by Professor Robert Topel on the economic benefits of education was featured in an article published September 19 in this leading daily newspaper. Professor Topel found that countries that invest in their citizens’ education – for instance, by increasing the average years of school completed – experience economic growth. He reported his finding during a conference at the Taub Center in Jerusalem. A summary of the conference can be found at the link below. 
    Read article
  • BBC. Professor Erik Hurst was quoted in an article headlined “Why are Americans leaving good jobs to go solo?” Despite the high unemployment rate, some Americans are quitting good jobs to start their own businesses because they are unwilling to put their careers in the hands of others, the story said. Unemployment, however, has never been a huge motivator for entrepreneurship, Professor Hurst said. Only a quarter of small business creators come from “some period of unemployment,” he said. The article was posted on the network’s website October 10. Read article
  • NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO. Professor Randall Kroszner was featured in a story titled “Recession Nips at the Heels of a Slow-Poke Recovery.” In addition to the impact of the Japanese earthquake and the pro-democracy actions of the Arab Spring, the debt crisis in Europe has left a lot of investors worried about the exposure of U.S. financial institutions, Professor Kroszner said in the October 11 broadcast. 
    Listen to broadcast
  • THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOK. The latest book by Professor Robert Fogel was reviewed in the October 27 issue. The book, “The Changing Body: Health, Nutrition, and Human Development in the Western World Since 1700,” is a synthesis of some five decades of research in demography, economics, medicine, and sociology,” the article said. Read article
  • INVESTMENT NEWS. Professor Richard Thaler was honored by the Retirement Income Industry Association for “achievement in applied retirement research,” according to an article published October 3. Read article

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

  • CRAIN’S CHICAGO BUSINESS. Three recent Booth graduates were included on a list of the Tech 25, “some of the most notable techies driving Chicago’s online growth spurt,” the newspaper said. They are Seyi Fabode, MBA ’10, CEO of Power2Switch, Matt Maloney, MBA ’10, CEO of GrubHub, and Bryan Johnson, MBA ’07, CEO of Braintree. The list was published October 3. Read article
  • DETROIT FREE PRESS. James Davlin, MBA ’88, was named treasurer of General Motors, according to a September 24 article. He will oversee capital planning, stock market activities, worldwide banking and pension funding. Previously he was vice president of corporate strategy and business development for John Deere. Earlier he worked for Procter & Gamble and Eli Lilly, the article said.
  • FORTUNE. Susan Wagner, MBA ’84, was named one of the magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” in 2011. She is vice chairman of BlackRock, the giant money management firm. The list appeared in the October 17 issue. Read article
  • CHICAGO TRIBUNE. GrubHub, the Chicago-based company co-founded by Matt Maloney, MBA ‘10, was featured in an article headlined “More Grub from Bigger Hub,” September 25. The article noted that the company recently raised an additional $50 million in venture capital, bringing its total funding to $84.1 million. GrubHub is a Web and mobile service that connects consumers with restaurants that offer delivery. 
    Read article
    A video interview with Maloney was posted on the website of Crain’s Chicago Business September 26. Watch video
  • BLOOMBERG NEWS. James Wigand, MBA ’84, was profiled in his role as director of the FDIC’s Office of Complex Financial Institutions, Washington, DC. He has the power to dismantle the country’s 22 largest banks, the article said. “I hope we never have to use it, but we’ve been given the power. So once it’s used, the market will believe.” The article was published September 28. Read article
  • TIME OUT CHICAGO. Rowida Assalimy, a student in the Evening MBA Program, was described as a “budding entrepreneur,” in an article published September 28. She is the first person to import and sell kishr, an ancient beverage from Yemen, in the U.S. “I had to adapt kishr for the American palate,” she said. Read article
  • CNN MONEY.COM. Leonard Kang, a student in the Evening MBA Program, was featured in an article headlined “Innovation in Vending Machines.” He is in the midst of raising venture capital to commercialize Ramen Square, a noodle vending station, the September 27 article said. 
    Read article
  • LE FIGARO (Paris). Stephanie Borge Mueller, an EMBA student at the London campus, was featured in an article about managers spending more of their own money to attend such programs. She is an executive at the Swiss office of Atout France, the French tourism development agency. The article was published September 19.
  • WASHINGTONIAN. Genevieve Hanson, MBA ’00, was listed as one of “The Washingtonian’s Women to Watch.” She is a senior real estate advisor in the General Services Administration, where she managers property utilization and disposal for the agency. The 10 women on the list “are likely candidates” to be included in a future list of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Washington, according to the article posted on October 4. Read article