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The best managers are the dumb managers?

February 17, 2009

Kevin Hassett, a respected economist, wrote a provocative essay today which argues that the Financial Crisis is due to Wall Street hiring “the best and brightest.”

“Twenty years ago…it was common for the best and the brightest to be doctors or engineers. By 2000, they wanted to be investment bankers….When Wall Street was run by people randomly selected from the population, it was able to survive everything. After the best and brightest took over, it died…”

He then goes on to state that “Harvard Educated Narcissists” (Hassett graduated from Swarthmore and Penn) and the self-confidence and training that Harvard engendered is a root cause of the Financial Crisis. Click here to read the entire article.

Rocky, a fan of Sally’s Pizza in New Haven, always thought that those Legal Seafood guys in Cambridge were over-rated. But Hassett’s disdain for the “best and brightest” provides some novel approaches to corporate management:

1) Only hire illiterate employees. (It saves time on inter-office email and leaves less documents for lawyers and regulators to seize.)

2) Only hire executives who have padded their resumes and who have bogus degrees. (Instead of persecuting drop-outs, celebrate their non-qualification qualification.)

3) Recognize that the so-called American Public Education Crisis is the way that the USA will regain global competitiveness. (The Harvard PhD’s in computer science should all go work at Sony and blow it up. Slothful Americans who can’t solve a quadratic equation will return Motorola to greatness.)

4) Have Congress amend the Americans With Disabilities Act to make it illegal to discriminate based on intelligence and education. (Anyone with an IQ over 120 will be a protected class under the revised ADA.)

5) Replace corporate recruiting at top universities with job fairs at homeless shelters. The newly hired executives will do a better job, and companies will save money on re-location expenses.

Memo to Kevin Hassett: Rocky would appreciate an autographed copy of your prescient 1999 book, “Dow 36000″. Please have the inscription read: To My Friend Rocky — Not a Bull. Not a Bear. Not an MBA.”

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