Best Business Commentary
December 13, 2007
New York’s Big Bang?
The “escalating credit crisis” could prompt Wall Street’s version of London’s 1986 “Big Bang,” says David Callaway in MarketWatch, and that would be “a silver lining” to the mess. After London broke up “the local cartel of merchant banks” 21 years ago, the city’s financial district reluctantly became truly international. Now it is “the envy of the world,” the undisputed “largest international marketplace.” Wall Street is global, but “everybody is wearing a Mets or a Yankees hat.” If the elevation of Indian-born Vikram Pandit and Londoner Win Bischoff to lead Citigroup is any indication, business on Wall Street could be in for “a whole new ballgame, er, cricket match.”
Harvard and the repricing of education
Harvard’s move to further subsidize tuition signals a sea change in higher ed, says Fay Vincent in The Wall Street Journal. With huge, well-managed endowments that enjoy “superb investment returns,” a few “elite private colleges and universities” are heading toward making tuition free for students whose families earn less than, say, $200,000. Harvard, with a mushrooming $35 billion endowment, can afford this. But when “the cost of the educational Mercedes will be less than the educational Ford,” how will “lesser-endowed schools that are much more heavily dependent on tuition” be able to compete?
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