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Leadership and Ethics Week:
Ethics in the Capital Markets
March 30 - April 3, 2009

This week is organized by the MBA Student Leadership and Ethics Board of the Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center.

Learning From the Fall of Bear and Lehman: Incentives, Ethics and Government Intervention

Monday, March 30 at 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Uris 142
Moderated by: Professor Donna Hitscherich

Screening and discussion of Frontline's "Inside the Meltdown," an in-depth investigative report on the activity surrounding the collapse of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. This screening will be followed by a discussion led by Professor Donna Hitscherich, examining the role that issues such as rumors, short-selling, poor decision making and, perhaps, immoral behavior, had in fomenting the collapse of two Wall Street institutions and how a crisis of this sort could be prevented in the future. Students with first-hand experience as employees of Bear and Lehman will be on hand to share their own experiences, and a lively audience discussion will be encouraged. Join us to share your own thoughts and experiences about these defining events. Please register online.

The KPMG Peat Marwick / Stanley R. Klion Forum:
Is the free market corroding moral character?
Speaker: John C. “Jack” Bogle, founder and former CEO of The Vanguard Group, Inc., and president of the Bogle Financial Markets Research Center

Wednesday, April 1 at 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Uris 142
Introduction by: Professor David Beim, Bernstein faculty leader

Reception and book-signing to follow at 7:30 p.m. in Hepburn Lounge

Mr. Bogle will assess governance practices at public corporations and how they affect the underlying value of a firm's equity. He will also discuss if the “free market” has corroded “moral character” and how the recent structural changes in the character of the financial and capital institutions have contributed to the current financial crisis. Please register online.

Mr. Bogle created Vanguard in 1974 and served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer until 1996 and Senior Chairman until 2000. The Vanguard Group is one of the two largest mutual fund organizations in the world. Vanguard comprises more than 120 mutual funds with current assets totaling more than $1 trillion. Vanguard 500 Index Fund, the largest fund in the group, was founded by Mr. Bogle in 1975. It was the first index mutual fund.

In 2004, TIME magazine named Mr. Bogle as one of the world’s 100 most powerful and influential people. In 1999, Fortune designated him as one of the investment industry’s four “Giants of the 20th Century.” Mr. Bogle is a best-selling author beginning with Bogle on Mutual Funds: New Perspectives for the Intelligent Investor (1993); Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor (1999); John Bogle on Investing: The First 50 Years (2000); Character Counts: The Creation and Building of The Vanguard Group (2002); Battle for the Soul of Capitalism (2005); and The Little Book of Common Sense Investing (2007). His seventh book Enough: The True Measures of Money, Business, and Life published by John Wiley and Sons was released in November 2008. Mr. Bogle graduated from Princeton University, magna cum laude in Economics.

The Who, Why and How of the Mortgage Crisis: A Frank Discussion with Carl Levinson, former director of Citi Consumer Lending.

Thursday April 2 at 12:30 p.m.– 2:00 p.m.
Warren 310

Carl Levinson spent 36 years with Citi, staring as a trainee and rising to become a member of the management committee. During that time he built and sold companies and added franchise value for Citi in credit cards, auto and student loans and residential mortgages. Mr. Levinson's last assignment, prior to retiring, was to reengineer the corporation, focusing on all aspects of the income statement, balance sheet and the business models of the significant operating units that make up Citi. Mr. Levinson will use his first hand experience in building and leading various aspects of Citi's credit and mortgage businesses, to discuss the roots of the current credit crisis, how we got to this point, and what can be done in the future. Please register online.

Mark to Market Journalism: The Role of the Media in the Financial Crisis
Speaker: Cheryl Strauss-Einhorn

Thursday April 2 at 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Uris 330
Introduction by: Professor Sid Balachandran

For ten years, Cheryl worked as an editor and columnist at Barron's, the Dow Jones weekly business and financial magazine, where she wrote articles for the front of the book, the cover slot and her column about the futures markets, entitled "Commodities Corner." Her series of articles about Exide, the nation's largest maker of car batteries, resulted in the company pleading guilty to conspiracy fraud charges, filing for bankruptcy and, at the end of December 2002, the chief executive was sentenced to serve 10 years in jail. At PolyMedica, the nation's largest maker of diabetic test kits, her news-breaking series of articles resulted in the company being raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a Securities & Exchange Commission investigation into the company's accounting practices. Named the best commodities reporter in the country, Cheryl also worked for CNBC during her tenure at Barron's.

Since leaving Barron's, Cheryl has written for the New York Times Sunday Business Section as well as other print publications. Cheryl has also been working for the past few years in the Investigative News Unit at Inside Edition, where she won the 2005 ACE Award for achievement in consumer reporting for her news-breaking investigation into charities.

Cheryl received her Masters in Journalism from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. She graduated magna cum laude with a BA in history and government from Cornell University.
Please register online.


Thursday April 2 at 7:00 p.m.– 11:00 p.m.
Uris Deli

Join the Student Leadership and Ethics Board for Happy Hour and a continuing discussion of the week's events with the opportunity to get down.

Montrone Seminar Series: The Ethics of Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent
Speaker: Jeannette Gorgas, managing director at Deutsche Bank's Global Markets

Friday April 3 at 12:30 p.m.– 2:00 p.m.
Deutsche Bank HQ
Moderated by: Professor Laurie Hodrick

Jeanette Gorgas is a Managing Director and the Global Talent Acquisition & Development Manager for Deutsche Bank's Global Markets. She oversees the division’s strategy for the graduate and undergraduate recruiting, training and development programs - the pipeline of new talent for sales, trading & research positions. Prior to assuming her present role, Jeanette was Head of Human Resources for Global Markets in the Americas. She joined Deutsche Bank in New York in June of 1998, following positions in Human Resources and Operations Management at Coutts Private Bank, SBC Warburg (now UBS) and Chubb Insurance Company. She attended Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Rutgers Business School, Rutgers University. Jeanette sits on the Board of Environmental Advocates of New York (EANY).

Ms. Gorgas will speak about the ethical issues surrounding the banking industry in general (ranging from solvency to capital constraints to regulation and risk management), as well as her personal experiences as someone involved in the recruiting, training and development spheres. She will also discuss the importance of personal branding, personal philosophy and ethics in the banking and financial services industry. 

We expect this to be both a lively and timely discussion. Seating will be extremely limited and registration is required but will be available in partnership with other Columbia Business School clubs. Lunch will be served. Business attire is required.

If your student club is interested in partnering to develop a Montrone Series event, please contact Kesha Cash at

Featured Research

Economists Aren’t As Nonpartisan As We Think
Do economists political leanings influence their research work? The answer may surprise you. 

Discover the Research >

Program Brochure

View the Bernstein Center brochure, Ethical Challenges in Business