August 5, 2005
When $7.2 million is not enough: Harvard's Money Manager
The New York Times reports today that Harvard cannot hire a money manager for its $23 billion endowment. The offered salary is $7.2 million a year and good money managers are making $250 million a year. Good gracious. There is much to be said here. First, Harvard has and is holding too much money -- it is an educational institutional that is now also a financial institution. This is greater than the GDP of most third world countries. The Harvard money manager makes more than all the academic officials (and over 3500 percent in excess of what Harvard pays a top undergraduate professor). It is Harvard's version of our problem-- our football coach makes more than any academic offical. Our education institutions are turning into 60s style conglomerates -- bloated, corrupted and inefficient -- and need hostile takeovers that would force them to focus on their core functions. Harvard needs to spend more of its money on education or return it, not just continue to grow a huge investment fund. Harvard could, for example, suspend tuition for all its students for years and still be solvent. At minimum, I would recommend that doners find other charities -- why donate to a self-perpetuating, bloated investment trust? Second, how is it that good money managers are worth $250 million a year. This money is coming out of the pockets of someone. These outrageous salaries are growing a national pubic relations problem for wall street and main street corporate america. Ordinary folks (not just the political socialists) are losing trust in our finanical institutions. At some point this will bear painful political fruit.
August 5, 2005 | Permalink
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