Ivo Welch

...J. Fred Weston Distinguished Professor of Finance and Economics
at the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA.


I have just read Mr. Klein's latest post. I was not an active party to any events a year ago, I am not now, and I do not speak for UCLA. I can only give my own opinion on the matter.

The UCLA Anderson Dean (and my friend), Professor Antonio Bernardo, is not allowed to comment on personnel-related matters and on pending litigation. UCLA legal rules prohibit this. It does not give outsiders the appropriate perspective when only Mr. Klein goes on the attack on national Fox News and beyond. I also resent that Professor Bernardo has no choice but to be his PiƱata.

In his latest post, I find it offensive that Mr. Klein publicly insinuates motives into Professor Bernardo's actions. He could not possibly know them. I could not name anyone with more personal integrity than Professor Bernardo.

As to Mr. Klein's general views voiced on academic freedom and tolerance (which he now more appropriately discusses outside an accounting course), I not only respect them, I also share many if not most of them. Universities should encourage the voicing of more unpopular and uncomfortable opinions. Some universities and departments seem more like 1984 than Voltaire. The Heterodox Academy advocates for the ability to voice offensive views — nobody else needs to agree. Provocative, controversial, and offensive views are often good. The silent majority of intellectuals probably supports free speech, too.

However, my problem here is not academic freedom but academic context. Mr. Klein is a lecturer hired and paid to teach our students the specific subject of accounting as good as he can --- just as it is my job to research and teach finance as good as I can. I wish Mr. Klein would have focused on his job. A simple "no" to a student inquiry would have been quite sufficient. I also wish the students had never publicly posted Mr. Gordon's response. In my mind, both Mr. Klein and the students' actions were gratuitous, but neither were serious offenses. I do resent that both have caused unnecessary distractions from Anderson's educational mission and that these distractions are now extending even further.

It seems that Mr. Klein has been enjoying the publicity that his victimhood, case, and public appearances have bestowed on him. We can only hope that his new-found national publicity will not further harm his consulting practice.


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CorpFin Textbook
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Critical Finance Review
Academic Journal

Wizardry

Somewhat Insane Fun. Also a sketch on Incomparables.

Information Cascades and Social Learning

A Literature Survey...and then some.

2021
Equity Premium Prediction II

What can predict the market?

2021
Moving the Needle

A book on climate change

2021
Robinhood Investors

Is there any crowd wisdom?

Market-Beta

What is the best (and easy) estimator of market-beta?

Market-Beta

Did low market-beta stocks hedge well in market crashes?

2017
CAPM

Did high-beta stocks even outperform low-beta stocks in the long-run?

2017
Real-Estate & Capex

Did real-estate really influence corporate cap-ex?

2020
Capital Structure

Did companies try to maintain stable leverage ratios?

2004/2013
Information Cascades

Do many possible action choices render cascades unimportant?

TBA
Equity Premia

Did stocks outperform bonds because they were riskier or longer-term?

2016
Equity Premia

Could you predict stock returns with dividend-yields (etc)?

2008
Equity Premia

Can you measure disaster risk in-time? Can it explain the equity premium?

2016
The Real Rate

Is the real interest rate after-tax unusually low?

2018
Reversals

Is evidence of portfolio reversals evidence of stock reversals?

2016
S&P500

Has in/ex-clusion from the S&P500 changed over the decades?

2016
Refereeing

Does your paper or the draw of the referee matter more?

2014
BLOG

I do blog occasionally—sometimes, for therapy, sometimes for insight.


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