Strategy

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Insights from Leading Economists, Overheard at MIT

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An impressive group of economists -- one that included numerous MIT alumni, including a number of winners of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences -- assembled at MIT Thursday for an economics and finance symposium that is part of MIT's 150th anniversary celebration.

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How to Manage Risk (After Risk Management Has Failed)

Over the past decade, a number of the world’s respected companies have collapsed. A factor was these companies’ approach to risk management. Two different views have evolved on how risk should be assessed. The first — the frequentist view — is based on historical data. The second, or Bayesian, considers risk to be in part a judgment of the observer. Many measures are being deployed to prevent future crises — a shift from frequentist to Bayesian risk management should be part of this effort.

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Tax Cuts — or Tax Increases — for the Rich?

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U.S. President Barack Obama declared this week that he is in favor of letting tax cuts for the rich expire; those tax cuts were enacted under George W. Bush.

Letting all the Bush-era tax cuts (for both the wealthy and others) expire would aid the U.S.

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How Much Power Do Economists Have, Really?

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There's a fabulous talk by Paul Krugman on MIT World that spells out the Nobel Laureate, New York Times columnist, and -- most important -- ex-MITer's argument that today's policymakers are moving too timidly to solve our world's massive economic problems. It's smart, convincing stuff.

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Must Economic Forecasts Always Fail?

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In the National Public Radio broadcast "Can Economic Forecasting Predict The Future?" Adam Davidson and Alex Blumberg report that "economic forecasters, even the best, have a mixed record forecasting the economy." And "forecasters, at best, can say the economy will be somewhere between bad and good.

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How This Financial Crisis Isn’t Different

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Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff gave a fascinating guest lecture at MIT earlier this week -- looking at commonalities in a number of financial crises. Rogoff, who recently coauthored a new book, This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly with Carmen M.

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The Dangers of Untested Assumptions

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Why do established corporations' new ventures often fail? The new issue of Business Insight, MIT Sloan Management Review's collaboration with The Wall Street Journal, includes an interview with Rita Gunther McGrath about problems traditional business planning processes encounter when dealing with uncertain new ventures.

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The Management Lessons of Las Vegas

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Where do you find inspiration? From great management thinkers like Peter Drucker? Political or military leaders? Great artists or musicians? Or, maybe, a gaudy wedding chapel on the strip in Las Vegas?

That last one probably doesn't rank high on your list. But maybe it should.

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