Success: Columbia Buckles Under the Pressure, Approves Tougher Conflict of Interest Rules
It would be a tad narcissistic to claim some of the credit for this but when WCV and I exposed former Fed governor and unethical hack Frederic Mishkin shortly after the first clips for Inside Job started circulating (before it won Best Documentary at the Academy Awards), I took it upon myself to e-mail the post to Columbia Business School professors. Just to be sure they were up on current events and to make sure our future business leaders trained on their watch were being properly prepared, you know. The email went something like this:
From: Jr Deputy Accountant
To: A metric ass ton of Columbia B-school profs
BCC: Frederic Mishkin
Subject: Frederic Mishkin is an embarrassment to the Columbia University name
You know, if I were you guys, I'd be demanding he resign from his duties at the University for such embarrassing, unethical behavior.
Unless you all are into that sort of thing. I know I take it personally when a colleague makes my organization look stupid but maybe that's just me.
Well I guess Columbia didn't like looking stupid after all, check out this bit of good news (for everyone but unethical asshats formerly of the Fed now getting fat on the educational farm) from The Columbia Spectator:
Business School faculty members approved stricter rules for disclosing potential conflicts of interest this week—the first policy change at Columbia in the wake of the critical documentary “Inside Job.”
The 2010 documentary criticized several leading academics, including Business School Dean R. Glenn Hubbard and Business School professor Frederic Mishkin, for apparent financial conflicts of interest. The film ignited a debate about conflict of interest policies at Columbia, prompting the administration to reexamine the issue and influencing a scheduled University Senate policy review.
Under the new policy, Business School professors will be required to publicly disclose all outside activities—including consulting—that create or appear to create conflicts of interest.
The policy passed with “overwhelming” faculty support at a Tuesday faculty meeting, according to Business School Vice Dean Christopher Mayer, who chaired the committee that crafted the policy.
Consider yourselves warned, would-be hacks.
Since the date of our last asshat trashing, Frederic Mishkin has added a "Disclosure of outside activities" link to his official Columbia page, which tells us he is still consulting for the good old Federal Reserve, among other extracurricular activities:
Consulting for investment banks, hedge funds, Federal Reserve
Banks and foreign central banks
Speeches for commercial banks, investment banks, hedge funds,
investment advisory firms, nonfinancial corporations and
Co-Director, U.S. Monetary Policy Forum
Advisory Committee, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Economic
and Education Program
The paper that started this all and made him look like such an asshole is listed there as well under its original title, Financial Stability in Iceland, rather than the Financial Instability in Iceland title he gave it after Iceland collapsed. Maybe that was an oversight on his part.
Somewhat related reading: Priceless: How The Federal Reserve Bought The Economics Profession (Ryan Grim via HuffPo, September 2009)