Thursday, December 03, 2009
An investment portfolio for a university might seem obscure, but Harvard's investment strategies for its endowment were the talk of academia for a long time -- and the envy. That was yesterday. Today, the question is how Harvard managed to lose so much cash -- nearly $2 billion -- in the downturn. The loss has forced the famously insulated school to cut back in nearly every department. Harvard's reputation for smarts also took a beating. It will be years before the university becomes the envy of investment managers again, if it ever does, and it is one more reminder that reputation and public perception are delicate, subject to cracking and ruin.