Advocates for workers’ rights and Olin economics professor Glenn MacDonald don’t agree on the motivation behind Wal-Mart’s announcement that it will boost pay for half a million workers. Read the opposing opinions in this St. Louis Post-Dispatch story, “Wal-Mart boosts employee pay because it had to.”

Image: Business Insider


Meet author Lawrence Cunningham and enjoy a discussion of his book, Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values on Wednesday, Feb. 25 at 4 p.m. in Emerson Auditorium, Knight Hall. Tom Manenti, Chairman and CEO of MiTek Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway Company based in St. Louis will join Hillary Sale, Wash U. professor of law and management, and Olin finance professor Radha Gopalan to discuss the fate of Berkshire Hathaway post-Warren Buffett.

The event is open and free to the community; walk-ins welcome to register at Knight Hall.

Lawrence Cunningham

Lawrence Cunningham

For two decades, Lawrence Cunningham has been the editor and publisher of The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, the authorized and thematically arranged abridgement of Buffett’s shareholder letters. Cunningham is the Henry St. George Tucker III Research Professor of Law at The George Washington University Law School.

Cunningham’s dozen other books include How To Think Like Benjamin Graham and Invest Like Warren Buffett and The AIG Story, co-authored by AIG’s long-time leader, Hank Greenberg. As a business author, deal lawyer, and consultant on corporate governance and culture, his writings appear in a variety of publications–the New York Times, the Financial Times, Directors & Boards, Columbia Law Review.

MiTek is the world’s leading supplier of state-of-the-art software, engineered products and services for the residential building industry.  MiTek’s principle customer is the component manufacturer (or “CM”), along with Builders, Architects, and Engineers.  CM’s are the truss shops that make roof trusses, floor trusses, and wall panel systems.

 Big ideas logoThis is a David R. Calhoun Memorial Lecture event and co-sponsored by Olin and the Law School.

Buffett Image: businessinsider


It’s the multibillion dollar question: What drives economic growth? Diverse sources of capital and a thriving global financial system are key, according to a new report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness (CCMC).

Released last week and authored by Anjan Thakor, PhD, the John E. Simon Professor of Finance at Washington University in St. Louis, the report, “International Financial Markets: A Diverse System is the Key to Commerce,” provides a broad overview of the global financial system and how it supports economic growth, facilitates global trade and creates opportunities for companies, entrepreneurs and individuals.

“The global financial system is a vast combination of traded securities, markets and contracts,” said Thakor, who also serves as PhD program director at Washington University’s Olin Business School.


Prof. Thakor

“This study describes and examines this system from the perspective of the role the global financial system plays in facilitating economic growth and meeting the needs of individuals and companies. The main conclusions are that a robust global financial system helps economic growth, creates more opportunities for individuals and firms, and that it is highly interconnected.” Anjan Thakor

Along with those opportunities come challenges for regulators of institutions and markets in terms of striking a balance between the need for transparency in this system and the need to enable the system to facilitate economic growth, according to Thakor.

“Understanding how this system works, and how to support it, is critical as regulators on every continent look to modernize or alter current regulatory structures,” he added.

chamber report To accompany the report, the CCMC also has published an interactive infographic that shows the daily challenges faced by business owners around the world, and the ways main street businesses utilize the financial industry to overcome them.

The full report is available online here.

About the CCMC
Since its inception in 2007, the CCMC has led a bipartisan effort to modernize and strengthen the outmoded regulatory systems that have governed our capital markets. The CCMC is committed to working aggressively with the administration, Congress and global leaders to implement reforms to strengthen the economy, restore investor confidence, and ensure well-functioning capital markets.

About the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

News Release by Julie Hail Flory, WUSTL Public Affairs

The final show down in the 2015 Olin Sustainability Case Competition (OSCC) was held Feb. 6 with three teams vying for the top $5000 prize. The finalists included two MBA teams from the Class of 2016 and one undergraduate team from the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts. The 6th Annual Olin Sustainability Case Competition took place in the Knight Center.

Teams were formed in December and given the prompt to submit first round entries in early January.  The topic this year was WUSTL WasteOnomics:  Creative, Innovative, and Cost-effective Strategies for Waste Reduction on campus.

The winner of the $5000 Grand Prize was Team 9 with their plan for saving power with Smart Outlets. The team included: Roxana Midori Pinillos Teruya, Philip Montgomery, Leslie Rieder, and Edward Poyo (all MBA’16).

Watch video to learn more about the winning proposal.


Our distinguished panel of judges, included:

  • John Beuerlein,MBA’77, General Partner, Edward Jones;
  • Dan Conner, MBA’12, Managing Director, DCF;
  • Dan Elfenbein, Associate Professor of Organization & Strategy at Olin;
  • George Fuji, Manager of Sustainability, Tarlton Corporation; and
  • Phil Valko, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Sustainability, WUSTL.
Team 5 presented Pre-Consumer, Post-Consumer & Waste Disposal and Education: Matthew Stranz, Kenneth Mao, James Bierman and Alejandra Fernandez (pictured above; all MBA’16)

Team 8 presented the Water Project : John “Jack” Lynch (AR’17), Emma Riley (FA’17) and Armaan Shah (AR’17)

Our generous sponsors included Edward Jones, Tarlton Corporation, and Drury Hotels.

Congratulations to all finalists.  The decision was not an easy one this year but we walked away with some great ideas of how to be more sustainable on campus.

The Olin Sustainability Case Competition (OSCC) began during the 2009-2010 academic year as a way to increase awareness and expand educational opportunities about sustainable business practices at Olin Business School.

Open to all Washington University students in both undergraduate and graduate level programs, the case competition provides participants with a chance to learn about practical, real-world applications of corporate responsibility and sustainability concepts as well as to make a difference in the world around them.

The OSCC is presented by the Olin Graduate Programs office in conjunction with the Washington University chapter of Net Impact and the Olin Strategy and Consulting Association (OSCA).

Designed as a traditional business case study, the competition is based on a current business problem and is prepared by MBA students with the assistance of Olin faculty and Washington University administration. Any student enrolled in a Washington University  academic program may participate, working in teams of two to four students.


Bejoy Mathew, PMBA 35, shares seven skills that every leader needs in an article, “The Seven F’s of Leadership,” published in the February issue of Leadership Excellence (p. 13). Here’s the list of f-words; read the article for the details:

  1. Focus
  2. Futuristicleadership excellence
  3. Factual
  4. Fairness
  5. Flexible
  6. Friendly
  7. Fearless