Masters in Business

A Harsh View of Harvard Business School

Duff McDonald, author of "The Golden Passport," says the country's leading business school helped send capitalism off the rails.

One of the most vaunted institutions in America -- Harvard Business School -- is not only a "failure" but positively "dangerous," Duff McDonald, journalist and author of several critically acclaimed books, said on this week's Masters in Business podcast.

McDonald has gotten a lot of attention lately because of "The Golden Passport," which asserts that the school bears responsibility for so much of what has gone wrong with free-market capitalism -- from debt-fueled merger mania to excessive executive pay to corporate short-termism. Given the current populist disdain for elites, his timing couldn't have been any better.



In a similar vein, his book "The Firm" questioned whether the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. added anything of value.

Not everything McDonald writes is negative; a cover story for New York magazine about JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s purchase of Bear Stearns Cos. led to his first book, "Last Man Standing: The Ascent of Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan Chase."

All of the books McDonald's cited can be found here.

You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras, on iTunesSoundcloudOvercast and Bloomberg. Our earlier podcasts can all be found on iTunesSoundcloudOvercast and Bloomberg.

Next week, we speak with Ed Thorp, the math professor and author of "Beat the Dealer" and "Beat the Market," and the first true quant hedge fund manager. He has just published his autobiography, "A Man for All Markets."

(Corrects title of Ed Thorp's autobiography in final paragraph of article published yesterday.)

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

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    Barry Ritholtz at

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