Thursday, April 29, 2010

See you at the Harvard Club

If you are enamored of A.K. Barnett-Hart and/or her senior thesis on CDOs and the credit crisis, you might wish to attend the event described below, sponsored by the HBS Women's Association of New York. We wrote about Ms. Barnett-Hart previously here. Why am I not surprised she's working at Goldman now?

I couldn't come up with a good title for this post that didn't trade on Ms. Barnett-Hart's good looks, so I chose the lame one above. Chances are, I won't actually be at the event :-(

A Harvard Senior Thesis tells the Story of the Financial Market Meltdown

A.K. Barnett-Hart's senior thesis, "The Story of the CDO Market Meltdown: An Empirical Analysis" has won numerous awards. Her research on this topic was used by Michael Lewis in his recent book on the financial crisis "The Big Short".

Collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) were a leading cause of writedowns at financial institutions during the recent financial crisis, leading to the demise of Merrill Lynch and AIG. Most of the securities being marked down were initially given a rating of AAA by the rating agencies, essentially marking them as "safe" investments. The rating agencies were not alone in their mistake; indeed almost all market participants failed to question the validity of the models that were luring them into a false sense of security.

In her senior thesis, “The Story of the CDO Market Meltdown”, A.K. Barnett-Hart investigated the causes of adverse performance in CDOs backed by asset-backed securities. Join her as she presents her findings, telling the story of how deterioration in collateral, irresponsible underwriting practices, and flawed credit rating procedures allowed this arcane market to contribute to the near destruction of the global financial system.

A Harvard 2009 Magna Cum Laude graduate, Ms. Barnett-Hart’s senior thesis, “The Story of the CDO Market Meltdown: An Empirical Analysis” won numerous awards, including the Hoopes Prize, the Harris Prize for the best economics thesis, and the Dunlop Prize from the Kennedy School of Government. Her research on this topic was used by Michael Lewis in his recent book on the financial crisis, “The Big Short,” and has been used by government agencies such as the TARP and the Financial Crisis Inquiry Committee.

Ms. Barnett-Hart is also an accomplished violinist, and had studied under Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School of Music. She is currently an investment banker at Goldman Sachs.

Event Details:

Date: Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Time: 6:30 P.M., Registration and Cash Bar 7:00 P.M. Program
Location: The Harvard Club, 27 W. 44th Street (between 5th & 6th Avenues)
Cost: Free Event – Registration Required

Organizers: Hemali Dassani HBS ’99, The Harvard Club Programming Committee

The HBS Women's Association of Greater New York is a charitable organization established by and for alumnae of the Harvard Business School who live and/or work in the Greater New York area. Our mission is to provide education to alumnae and the broader community about women in leadership and to raise scholarship funds for a current HBS woman student. Our programs facilitate the exchange of information, experiences, tools, guidance and support to enable HBS alumnae at all stages of their lives and careers to fully realize their individual personal and professional goals.

We are always looking for great programming ideas, so if any of your readers have ideas or contacts, I'm happy to hear them.


Shawn said...

lovin' the strong square jaw...oh, and her smarts too, and the mega-wealth she will accumulate at Goldman; the total package

Shawn said...

Did I mention the double-barreled last name, and the use of initials for the first as a signal of high social status? Too bad my mediocre IQ and earning potential, not to mention the fact that I go to a no-name MBA school, will make me forever unsatisfactory to such a girl. I'm so sad.

Madhu said...

Last I heard, she was at Morgan maybe Shawn has a chance !!

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