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Harvard Business School Graduates Continuing Year Old Oath-Taking Tradition

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Last May, a bunch of HBS grads got together and decided to take an "MBA Oath," promising not to do anything wrong once they were released into the world. They put a condensed version on little laminated cards to keep in their back pockets as a quick reference in case they ran into a situation that offered them the opportunity to lie, cheat, steal or short their the individual mortgages of down-on-their-luck friends in the Hamptons, and weren't sure how to proceed. They also posed with said cards in the New York Times, looking like the members of a Christian rock band, so you knew it was serious. And yet...we still kind of thought it was just a phase, something they'd grow out of. Such is not the case! This year's HBS grads are still feeling the need to sign a sheet of paper that says they promise to be good and not just that but they're really kicking things up a notch with bold claims such as the following:

If Goldman Sachs’s leadership had followed the oath’s tenets, the company may not have entered into agreements to sell mortgage-backed securities that another client, New York investment company Paulson & Co., was betting against, said Khurana, the Harvard professor who worked with students in drafting the oath.

“For me, it was a stake in the ground, to say here are my values, here’s what I believe in,” said Estrada, who plans to work as an investment manager for Goldman Sachs in Seattle. “When I have a tough decision, I want to be in a position where I have my own personal oath.”

Unfortunately, at this time, Lucas van Praag cannot speak freely re: what he really thinks of all this, as he is on a time out. This guy's got time and no one holding him back though:

The pledge is “well meaning but in the end, very mushy and not well thought out,” said Steven Kaplan, a professor of entrepreneurship and finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Goldman Harvard Recruit Pledges to Do No Harm, Fights for Oath [Bloomberg]


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