Harvard is one of the great names in education. Even those who dream big don’t often imagine that they will ever get to attend, yet it must be asked if they are really worthy of such prestige and admiration. As today’s news shows, there are some good reasons to wonder.
As Bloomberg News reports, Harvard was part of “an investment in a sprawling agricultural development in Brazil’s remote and impoverished northeast,” and wound up losing a billion dollars in doing so. Those working were to “produce tomato paste, sugar, and ethanol, as well as energy after processing crops,” The expected profits were to be better than stocks and bonds.
Clearly, that was not the case.
It is known that $150 million was lost just in “development.” On top of that loss, “current endowment chief, N.P. “Narv Narvekar” wrote that “the value of its globe-spanning natural resources portfolio last year by $1.1 billion, to $2.9 billion.”
The school manages $37.1 billion in total and while that money seemed well invested and profitable at first, now it faces “significant challenges.”
Thomas Gilbert, “a finance professor at the University of Washington,” finds that misplaced trust in those investing (and who “were paid $242 million from 2010 through 2014″) is the root of the school’s woes. “They became loose cannons,” he said of those who managed the money for the school.
“When you’re managing donor money, it’s appalling,” Gilbert added.
Showing this to be true is the fact that Harvard “posted a 4.4 percent average annual return” for the last ten years. This is some of the lowest numbers among “their peers.”
It seems as though everything that they had hoped for was tied to the goals of the modern PC think tanks of the world, not sound economic doctrine.
Bioenergy, biofuel, and all of the lefty dreams which were (and remain) backed by very little more than blind hope failed the great college. Harvard threw money at “Central California vineyards, Central American teak forests, a cotton farm in Australia, a eucalyptus plantation in Uruguay, and timberland in Romania.” They even dabbled a bit in natural resource investing.
“The natural resources portfolio was supposed to be the crown jewel,” confessed Joshua Humphreys, president of the Croatan Institute.
As talk about “sustainable capitalism” happens, Harvard is sinking like a brick thrown into the river.
Meanwhile, coal is king as President Donald Trump thankfully dispels the myth of global warming and allows real progress to return to America.
As Harvard is learning the hard way, just because leftists are clamoring for something does not mean that it will do anything but send investors into the red.