Friday, March 29, 2013

Too many students doing their MBA

In 1958, America produced 5,000 MBAs per year and none of the other countries produced any. Last year we produced 200,000, and the rest of the world produced tens of thousands more. We have a glut, we have a lot more MBAs than we used to, there’s a huge amount of competition in that field, in finance. And nearly all MBAs these days study finance. In the old days some of them studied manufacturing, or marketing, or accounting, or other things. Now it’s nearly all finance.

This is at a time when there’s massive debt and leverage in the financial community. You know, back in the 60s and 70s there was very low leverage in the financial community, many investment banks were partnerships, partners weren’t about to go and risk their entire fortunes with leverage.

And of course now you have governments around the world antagonistic to finance, passing laws and regulations all the time, trying to come down hard on financial types. Finance, which was a backwater and pretty much ignored by everybody including students, has now become, in the 80s, 90s, and the last 10 or 15 years, wildly hot and popular. That’s why I’m saying this is going to change. Throughout history we’ve had long periods where the financial types were the masters of the universe, followed by long periods when the people who produced real goods were. Well, that’s changing now, going back to the old ways. We have more people in America studying public relations than studying agriculture. More people study physical education than study mining engineering.

So how much more do you need to know? 10,000 people studied agriculture last year while 200,000 got MBAs.

Jim Rogers

Warren Buffett

Nouriel Roubini