Winter 2009

In Brief

Haas Faculty, Guests Dissect Financial Turmoil


As the financial crisis exploded last fall, the Haas School organized a series of special events to explore the causes and consequences of the turmoil.

Several experts shared their insights about the crisis with the Haas community, including Professor Laura Tyson, a Morgan Stanley board member, a top economic adviser to President Bill Clinton, and an adviser of President Barack Obama's campaign; and Michael Callen, a former Citicorp board member and currently chairman and CEO of the Ambac Financial Group, one of the world’s largest bond insurers.

The school kicked off the first of several Dean’s Speaker Series events addressing the financial turmoil with an impromptu teach-in on the same day that AIG’s federal bailout was announced. “We are in a financial hurricane,” Professor Jim Wilcox told the standing-room-only crowd packed into the Bank of America Forum for the teach-in.

Wilcox also joined Haas faculty members Robert Edelstein, Dwight Jaffee, John Quigley, Alexei Tchistyi, and Nancy Wallace as participants in a two-day symposium titled “The Mortgage Meltdown, the Economy, and Public Policy,” sponsored by UC Berkeley and UCLA and held on the Berkeley campus. The symposium included speeches by Haas Professor Emeritus Janet Yellen, now president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who spoke via satellite.

Another panel discussion organized by the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation explored the effect of the crisis on entrepreneurs. And at the end of the semester, former Dean Tom Campbell, Haas Professor Pablo Spiller, and Visiting Professor Adam Galinsky from Northwestern University‘s Kellogg School of Management debated the ethical implications of the financial crisis.

Campbell also participated in a panel discussion about the economy organized for Haas alumni in Los Angeles, while Wilcox spoke about “Obamanomics” with Haas East Bay alumni on President Barack Obama’s first day in office.


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Professor Jim Wilcox


Professor Jim Wilcox

Michael Callen


Michael Callen,
Ambac Financial Group