Thursday, November 27, 2014 at 2pm

Lessons from the Financial Crisis at Yale SOM: MBA News

Former US treasury secretary at Yale SOM

As part of a course analyzing the global financial crisis, former US treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, will give the final installment of a three-part lecture series at Yale School of Management (Yale SOM) next week, December 3.

Geithner, who served as US treasury secretary from 2009 to 2013, will look at the lessons learned since 2008 in exploring how policymakers might react in the event of future financial crises.

Next week’s lecture follows one given last week in which Geithner discussed government policies in the wake of 2008’s financial crisis and during his tenure as US treasury secretary.

“I believe that the quality of outcomes, the level of tragedy and the damage a crisis causes, is not just about the design of the system. It’s really also substantially about choices that government’s central policy makers make when they’re confronted with the storm,” Timothy Geithner said before adding: “On the eve of the crisis, we had plenty of resources in our country relative to our challenge, but the tools we had relative to the challenge were weak.”

Former US treasury secretary talks from part of new course

The first lecture, given last month, looked at the causes of the financial crisis. Taken together, the series forms the heart of a new course at Yale SOM designed to improve students’ understanding of financial crisis prevention and response.

The Global Financial Crisis course is co-taught between Timothy Geithner and Yale SOM’s deputy dean, Andrew Metrick, who also began teaching a course on financial stability at the school last year. 

In announcing the partnership with Geithner earlier this year, Metrick stressed the value the former US treasury secretary’s insights would be able to provide:

“Who better to lead the discussion of these issues than the person who led the world's largest economy through the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression?” Metrick said.

Geithner’s thoughts on the financial crisis came under the spotlight recently when interview transcripts, produced in preparation for Geithner’s book, Stress Test, were leaked to the media. In them, he is more openly critical of some of the policies implemented by the Obama administration he served and reveals a candor (as well as a penchant for swearing) not found in the book when discussing events that took place in the eurozone crisis.

Timothy Geithner, a graduate of Dartmouth College and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, first joined the Treasury Department in 1988 and became US treasury secretary in 2009 after a six-year stint as president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He now serves as president for the private equity firm Warburg Pincus, once linked with a takeover of English football (soccer) team Everton.

The lecture series, entitled ‘Fighting Financial Crises: The Cause and the Craft’ has been open to all Yale SOM and the wider university community as well as being made available, via video stream, to students at all schools now involved in the Global Network for Advanced Management.

This alliance of business schools was created in 2012 and now stretches to 27 members, including Germany’s ESMT and Switzerland’s IMD in Europe, South Korea’s Seoul National University Business School and Singapore’s NUS Business School in Asia, as well as Yale SOM as the network’s sole US member.

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Tim is a writer with a background in consumer journalism and charity communications. He trained as a journalist in the UK and holds degrees in history (BA) and Latin American studies (MA).

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