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Campus Chronicles: Chicago Business

Welcome to Campus Chronicles, our weekly peek at the news at top business programs. This week we check in on students at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business by examining their student newspaper, Chicago Business.

BoothIn mid-November Booth students donned their best faux-Hollywood attire to attend the annual Golden Gargoyle awards. The event pays homage to the Oscars, celebrating films created by students to cap the end of the renowned LEAD (Leadership Effectiveness and Development) module. This year, of the ten cohorts that participated, Walker cohort took home the most awards—including gargoyles for Best Film, Best TV Parody and Viewer’s Choice—for its parody of NBC’s popular series The Office. Dean Sunil Kumar and Deputy Dean and Clinical Professor of Economics Stacey Kole each made cameo appearances throughout the evening.

Chicago Business caught up with Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics Richard Thaler shortly after the professor spoke at the Becker Brown Bag Speaker Series in November. The discussion centered on Thaler’s latest book, “Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness,” co-written with the prominent legal scholar Cass Sunstein. Espousing what has been called a philosophy of “libertarian paternalism,” the book argues that humans are inherently fallible and exhibit myriad cognitive biases, but that institutions can and should be designed to “nudge” them towards making healthy and happy decisions. Thaler also spoke about the future of behavioral economics generally, arguing that the once “renegade branch of economics” will be subsumed by the mainstream since so many of its tenets are now widely accepted.

Finally, the Chicago Booth Investment Management Group (IMG) hosted its annual Investment Management Conference in November, featuring a bevy of investment professionals from firms like PIMCO, Fidelity and Vanguard. Caution seemed to be the theme of the evening; Lubos Pastor, Professor of Finance at Booth, focused his opening address on the difficulties experienced by actively managed funds, which have on average underperformed their relevant market indices in recent years. Multiple guest speakers, including PIMCO’s Mihir Worah, advocated the purchase of commodities, notably gold, inflation-protected securities and foreign exchange hedges to protect against the specter of inflation. The conference also featured a panel on finding opportunities in corporate credit, as well as an end-of-day reception allowing students to meet the presenters.

 

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