Hubbard speaks

It was really not my intention to turn this into an all-Glenn-Hubbard, all-the-time blog. But I’m too busy writing on the book (or at least like to pretend that I am) to post much else, and I did go to see the G man speak last night at Columbia, where he gave a University Lecture on “Business, Knowledge, and Global Growth.”

A University Lecture seems to be a big deal. Hubbard was introduced by Provost Alan Brinkley who in turn had been introduced by President Lee Bollinger. The rotunda at Low Library was more or less packed. And the speech lasted a whole hour.

It was a defense of business schools, which have been under attack lately in some unlikely places like Harvard Business Review and Business Week. Not to mention the new Atlantic that arrived in the mail a couple days ago. Hubbard’s argument (you can read a summary by Hubbard’s PR people here): Entrepreneurial capitalism is essential to raising living standards, and business schools like Columbia’s foster not entrepreneurial capitalism but social entrepreneurship as well.

He made one mention of the famous “Every Breath You Take” video. He was talking about how the U.S. lags other countries in broadband connections, then added (it wasn’t in the prepared text): “I would point out that Columbia Business School’s recent video about me managed to make it around the world pretty quickly.”

The topic came up again at the post-lecture dinner. In his remarks at the end of the meal, Bollinger told Hubbard that “we’ll be watching you.” I was invited to the dinner, I think, because Hubbard has zeroed in on me as a potential vessel for his message that business schools are great. It was a pretty good dinner, and I got seated at the head table with Hubbard, Bollinger, and Brinkley, among others. So here goes: Business schools are grrrrrrreat!

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