Compare and Contrast: Universities and Banks

A macroeconomist once told me that the two institutions with the longest investment horizons were university endowments and the Vatican.

From Kevin Davis at Bull City Rising, an interesting intro to his article on what the Citi buyout of Wachovia may mean to Charlotte:

Try to imagine, if you will, how it would feel to see a news story like this one cross the wire services:

Posted at 9:19pm on July 24, 2013

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The trustees of Duke University announced today a breathtaking combination with Princeton University in the latest reverberation from the higher education market collapse.

The takeover, valued at $8.7 billion (U.S.), comes on the heels of last week’s Johns Hopkins-University of Chicago merger.

The Duke-Princeton deal, like the activity in Baltimore last week, was brokered at the eleventh hour by Federal regulators at the U.S. Department of Education concerned about the financial stability of another one of the country’s most prestigious universities.

“This is an important step in restoring American’s confidence in our higher education system,” said Secretary of Education Dan Quayle.

It’s utterly impossible to picture — and no, I don’t mean the bit about Quayle being secretary of education.

For better or worse, a university town has some immunity to the economic pain that afflicts the private sector.

Remainder of article here.

Comments are closed.