Harvard and a host of other universities, elite or not, have lost a lot of money in the recent market bust. So what else is new?
On Main Street unemployment is the over-riding concern and it continues to rise. Folks who have worked all their lives have lost their homes or their jobs.
However, students at Harvard are no longer getting a warm breakfast made the news at New York Times, the paper of record in America. Imagine that! Read the article here.
Well, of course, Harvard is Fair Harvard, like no others. It has graduated more US Presidents than any other university. It is the oldest and the richest, even with a near 30% decline in its endowment.
But wait, are not Harvard professors and their students the best and the brightest?
How come these brains didn't anticipate the bursting of the financial bubble? Indeed, Harvard Business School, nation's premier business institution should have put out so many wise investment ideas that Harvard's money managers should have shorted the market ahead of everyone else!
Instead of suffering a 30% decline in its endowment that has now deprived its so privileged students a warm breakfast, the endowment should have increased by at least 50-100% taking advantage of the dramatic fall by properly positioning its portfolios, no?
Oh, by the way it was none other than Larry Summers, Obama's economic advisor and Harvard's president during the bubble who was most sanguine about using financial derivates and was the driving force to expand Harvard's budget on the mistaken and costly belief that he could count on an ever increasing endowment to finance its ambitious expansion plans. Summers is a Harvard PhD in economics. Media always describe him as one of the smartest economists in all of America.
Well, forgoing a warm breakfast may not be Dickensian, as the Times reporter put it, but being deprived of it was deemed important enough for the paper of records to put it on as news.
How about a report on Howard, the "black" Harvard? Nah! These "people" are not important for the future of the country. Didn't Obama go to Harvard Law School?
Oh, he went to Columbia University as an undergraduate, but you can always count on the NY Times, indeed, all US papers, to write he is Harvard-educated. In America, no other counts as much as Harvard.
Yes, Harvard holds a very special place in the collective psyche of USA. And that's why we have to read about disappearing warm breakfasts at Harvard.