After the Examination All Professors Are Sad: A Dialogue About Teaching the Wrong Thing: Hoisted from Ten Years Ago

Ten Years Ago Today: May 17, 2008

The Wall Street Journal works for its sources, not its readers: Susanne Craig: Lehman's Straight Shooter: "Finance Chief Callan Brings Cool Jolt of Confidence To Credit-Rattled Street.... After sifting through the numbers for nearly an hour, Ms. Callan coolly answered more than 20 analyst questions. Then she strode down to Lehman's bond-trading desk and high-fived trading executive Peter Hornick. Later that day, bond traders gave her a standing ovation, a Wall Street rite typically reserved for CEOs. Profit had plunged, yet Lehman shares surged 46%.... The 42-year-old Ms. Callan is emerging as a galvanizing force at Lehman and a finance chief who topples much of the conventional wisdom about CFOs. She also is the highest-ranking woman on Wall Street. Many Lehman insiders consider her among the contenders to become the firm's president someday. Unlike Lehman's two previous CFOs, Ms. Callan isn't an accountant and had never worked in the finance department. She embraces television, appearing frequently. She receives a slimmer daily financial summary than her predecessors, relying more on data from the trading-floor contacts built during her 13-year Lehman career...


In Grasping Reality:

  • True then; true now: After the Examination All Professors Are Sad: A Dialogue About Teaching the Wrong Thing: Looking back over my syllabus this semester, I realized that I spent five full weeks... teaching them the Solow growth model... [which] doesn't tell us anything first-order about the world—aside from post-WWII Japanese convergence from a bouncing-rubble B-29 testfield to a prosperous OECD economy.

  • Political Economy Major "Concentrations" at Berkeley: The highly-intelligent and industrious David Guarino writes: "A few practical constraints.... The fleeting accuracy of course names.... The shadow of regimes past.... The frantic irrationality of a first-week student..."

  • Philippe Sands: The Torture Memo: "The release of the March 2003 memo gave rise to a further raft of articles. A New York Times editorial described [John] Yoo’s continued employment at Berkeley as 'inexplicable'.... I strongly support academic freedom of expression, including the importance of exposing law students to competing approaches to legal issues. I also appreciate, as Dean Edley explains, that the standard that is to be applied for dismissal is a high one.... I have less sympathy, however, for Dean Edley’s assertion that: 'no argument about what [Yoo] did or didn’t facilitate, or about his special obligations as an attorney, makes his conduct morally equivalent to that of his nominal clients, Secretary Rumsfeld, et al., or comparable to the conduct of interrogators distant in time, rank and place'. Is that right? In our system of government, lawyers play a crucial role, as gatekeepers of legality and constitutionality. When the lawyers bend, when they fail to exercise independent and professional judgment, and when they become handmaidens to policymakers, they cross a line that raises the possibility of ethics violations and possibly even criminal violations..."