Archive for the ‘College’ Category

We have an interesting development after Harvard announced a 4 month loss of 22% in its endowment.

Courtesy of Reuters:

Harvard College on Friday launched a $1.5 billion three-part taxable bond offer with Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan acting as lead managers, according to IFR.

The Triple-A-rated university is planning to sell $500 million in 5-year, 10-year and 30-year notes, with all maturities expected to price at a yield spread of 337.5 basis points over comparable Treasuries, said IFR, a Thomson Reuters service.

The proceeds of the sale will be used to refinance taxable commercial paper and for other corporate purposes.

The bond sale comes just two days after the world’s richest university announced that its endowment has lost 22 percent, or about $8 billion, in the last four months.

An $8 billion loss is enough to hamper their plans of creating a self-sustaining utopia. Also, it won’t take a 22% return to bring them back to $36.9 billion, it will take a 27% return (compounding interest sucks, doesn’t it?).

Back in 2004, they had fired their fund manager after being criticized for paying him too much money…I suppose they got what they paid for.

A funny summation via The Big Picture:

Let’s see, if this adds up:

Savings on fund management staff: $50 million

Losses on endowment fund: $ 8 billion and counting

Finding out the supposedly smartest college in the nation is run by idiots: Priceless.


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There is an article in the Journal today, which at first glance didn’t seem so farfetched…

“A four-year college degree, seen for generations as a ticket to a better life, is no longer enough to guarantee a steadily rising paycheck.

Just ask Bea Dewing. After she earned a bachelor’s degree — her second — in computer science from Maryland’s Frostburg State University in 1986, she enjoyed almost unbroken advances in wages, eventually earning $89,000 a year as a data modeler for Sprint Corp. in Lawrence, Kan. Then, in 2002, Sprint laid her off.”

However the opening of this article is just completely absurd. First of all, this author talks about “Frostburg State” like I should have heard of it. Secondly, if you decide to read the rest of this horrendous article, you’ll see he makes no reference to the fact that 2002 was one of the most severe years of the tech bubble recession, which subsequently bottomed in 2003. On top of that, this individual was let go by Sprint of all places, a company which witnessed its stock price go from a high of $80 a share to $7.25 in a little over 2 years (guess when that price bottom occurred?) Finally, are we supposed to trust that this “Bea Dewing” was at all competent at her job? Maybe Sprint, a dying cell phone company, figured this person was overpaid for her skill set…

The crux of it all is that what happened to this woman is not out of the ordinary, which is why it contributes very little to the bottom line of this article; this is an exhibit of the principle of cyclical unemployment, which is a natural part of the business cycle, especially in a recession.

When I saw this headline, I was hopeful that the author would comment more about how the average median American salary hasn’t come close to shadowing the rate of inflation in this country (even with a college degree), and less on this woman, who monopolizes the article. *Perhaps this is why we as a country have become so dependent on credit and borrowing against our houses to create imaginary wealth*

What I found to be most entertaining about this article, was the thought of how much this type of authorship would really piss off my Economics professor from last year (Please chime in if I’m wrong, Casey). He used to write an excellent blog, and he once wrote about how a college education is an investment in your own human capital, in addition to your future earnings potential. He was considering the value of college education in the context of student loans, and his post is way better than this b.s. article in the Journal. I insist you read it, as its very informative.

To be somewhat even keeled, this article was at least in the “Personal Journal” section, which is supposed to be a section of lighter reading. I do, however have to question this article’s agenda…maybe this guy “Greg Ip” has 3 young kids he will eventually have to send through college, and is trying to spark lower college tuition costs.

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