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Friday, February 20, 2009

How To Go to Harvard for Free by Farhad Manjoo

Over the last few months, I've been trying to educate myself on our financial crisis. To that end, I dropped in on a class at Yale that examined real estate finance and the roots of the federal government's involvement in the mortgage industry.

I've got lots of free time, so why stop learning? I sat in on an instructive lecture by David Swensen, the whiz who manages Yale's endowment, about strategies for investing over the long term. A few days later, I attended a class taught by Harvard's Larry Summers, who's now an economic adviser to President Obama.
Summers was arguing that macroeconomics in the next century will be shaped more by financial crises than by the business cycle—or something like that. I can't really say because he was pretty dull, and I discreetly walked out; instead, I visited Princeton economist Alan Blinder's lecture about the origins of the financial mess, which was far snappier.

He is Slate's technology columnist and the author of True Enough: Learning To Live in a Post-Fact Society.
You can e-mail him at

Source: Slate