The Prism Daily ~ Wed, Jul 04, 2012

Your ‘One-A-Day’ financial news-tritional supplement, including trace elements of information and analysis that every healthy investor needs. Specially formulated to address a wide variety of financial ailments. From the Desks of David Taylor and Gordon Philips, Directors of Prism Solutions and publishers of the weekly Prism Letter (past issues archived here)

Today’s Daily Dose

How Larry Summers Lost Harvard $1.8 billion

“It happened at least once a year, every year. In a roomful of a dozen Harvard University financial officials, Jack Meyer, the hugely successful head of Harvard’s endowment, and Lawrence Summers, then the school’s president, would face off in a heated debate. The topic: cash and how the university was managing – or mismanaging – its basic operating funds… Through the first half of this decade, Meyer repeatedly warned Summers and other Harvard officials that the school was being too aggressive with billions of dollars in cash, according to people present for the discussions, investing almost all of it with the endowment’s risky mix of stocks, bonds, hedge funds, and private equity…. Summers, amazingly, wanted to invest 100% of the university’s cash in the endowment, and had to be talked down to investing a mere 80%… Summers was playing a high-risk carry-trade game with Harvard’s cash… After Summers left… the university ended up losing 27% of its $6 billion in “cash”: a whopping $1.8 billion. There’s no indication, of course, of any kind of apology from Summers.”

Prism Reponds: Larry Summers went on to become the Secretary of Treasury of the United States. Any questions?

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The Staff and Management of Prism Solutions, LLC
‘Better Investing Through Science’

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