The way Darwin would see it

1594.jpgOctober 2008 | By Antonio Rivela, Professor at IE Business School

One of the collateral effects of the crisis is a purge of the entire system as Darwinâ??s famous survival of the fittest kicks in. But should all species be left to fend for themselves?

What should the central banks do to combat the recession? That is the question asked constantly by investment banks, politicians, legislators and people on the street. Many players on the market will see a digital answer to the question.

Should they inject funds indiscriminately into the system from the public treasury to correct the upset caused by the investment banks? Or should they be allowed to fall in pure Darwinian survival-of-the-fittest style? On this particular occasion I happen to think that it depends on each case.

There are banks which, owing to their status, help the financial system on a structural scale. They can be compared with the age-old trees that form a basis for an ecosystem. Without them, no animal would be able to exist. The latest examples are the agencies that support the mortgage system in the United States, affectionately known as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, since their initials are unpronounceable, believe me. I think it is blatantly obvious that these institutions should be helped in order to avoid a potential collapse of the United States property market, which could have been comparable with the 1929 recession. In these two cases, the Fed was correct to inject $100 billion into each institution.

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Over 150 Spanish and international companies will be participating in the 8th edition of the IE Business School Careers Fair to recruit executive talent for their organizations. The fair will serve as a platform for recruiting companies to give presentations on their strategic development at the IE campus, and to hold interviews with 800 students…

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Investment Trends

1569.jpgSeptember 2008 | By Ignacio de la Torre, Professor of Finance and Academic Director of IE’s Master in Finance.

Except for the odd diehard, nobody is denying that we are facing a credit crisis that is affecting the mainstream economy. The question is: Where do we go from here?

In the city of Boston in the 1920s, an Italian immigrant, Roberto Ponzi, convinced hundreds of people that investing in Spanish and Italian stamps with guaranteed profitability levels was a better option than buying traditional products, such as bonds and shares, whose high prices had rendered them less profitable. Of course, the promised levels of profitability came from the revenue generated by those who were the last to buy the stamps, which is why the English term for this type of con trick is “Ponzi scheme”, which made Roberto eternally famous.

Does this sound familiar?

A scenario of economic expansion with controlled inflation, as took place in the 1920s or, more recently, since 2004, eventually leads to a heavy increase in the money supply. This leads to increases in the real prices of assets (fixed assets, stock exchanges, bonds), dampening their implicit profitability. Investors look for alternative products that can give them greater profitability, causing successive “bubbles” in said assets as they attract investments (in 2006, the JP Morgan index for emerging bonds offered profit levels that were only 1.3% higher than the North American bond). Paradoxically, as pointed out by the economist Hyman Minski in the 1970s, trust in the central bank´s success can involve a disproportionate expansion of credit, which, in turn, brings about greater falls in default (since the refinancing of the debt is easy in this kind of environment), giving rise to a vicious circle. The circle is blown to pieces when a significant event (such as the non-payment of the subprime mortgages) leads the market to reconsider its appetite for risk and this reconsideration brings about a fall in credit, which is quickly transferred to the real economy with the threat of a possible recession (which is where we are today).

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IE Professors on the move

Professors at IE are constantly on the move. Apart from participating in conferences about their fields of research they are conducting seminars or promote IE as a whole. As you see in a way of example, currently 3 of our professors are in 3 different continents: Prof. Dr. Gildo Seisdedos at the Congress of the…

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10,000 Women: Goldman Sachs

IE Business School has signed a collaboration agreement with Goldman Sachs to act as academic partner in the â??10,000 Womenâ?? project, an initiative whereby universities and business schools from around the world will provide management education programs for 10,000 women in developing countries. IE Business School will be running a program for women entrepreneurs in…

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Rehabilitating Snow White

1572.jpgIE Focus, September 2008 | By Celia de Anca, Professor of Diversity Management at IE Business School.

Our idea of a heroine has changed since the days when princesses waited in their towers to be rescued. Todayâ??s heroine is all action, a feminine version of a masculine hero. Therein lies the mistake.

The psychologist Carl Jung argued that by eliminating any element that wasnâ??t strictly rational, the western world transferred a series of stereotypes that were deep-rooted in our primitive collective conscious to our subconscious. Thus man´s relationship with nature, the supernatural or tribal functions became part of our subconscious world, resurfacing in the form of dreams, symbols or myths (1).

Enter the classic hero with a thousand and one faces, as described by Joseph Campbell. However, all heroes share certain features that changed very little since the existence of the subconscious was first acknowledged. Indiana Jones is perhaps one of our most widely known modern-day heroes and, like his forerunners, he demonstrates courage and determination in pursuing his ideals, even if those ideals are somewhat more tangible as a result of changing times.

The heroine, meanwhile, has undergone radical change. She is no longer the princess that waits impatiently to be rescued from her tower. She is an intrepid and independent adventurer who competes with the hero in terms of courage and strength. Although it must be said that it is still the hero who usually saves her from the cliff edge or from perishing in the fire. It seems that the 21st century heroine has become something of an imitation of the male hero, but perhaps a weaker version?

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IE comes to Bangkok!

IE will be in Bangkok on September 18, 2008 participating in The MBA Tour event which is celebrated in the JW Marriott, 4 Sukhumvit Road. Alternatively you may join also the upcoming IE Insight Session on October 7, 2008 from 19:00 onwards. For more information, just watch the following slide show. IE Insight Session –…

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IE University reinvents Communication

IE University has reinvented university education with its new degree communication, one of the international universityâ??s flagship programme for the academic year 2008-2009. The new degree runs in English and Spanish and will combine online and onsite training with internships whereby students can gain work experience in other countries and learn languages. The new degree…

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