When Iris Mack blew the whistle on Harvard endowment's derivatives to Larry Summers' office, she was fired
Another Cassandra. Harvard Crimson:
After a year-long stint at a European investment bank and another at Enron, Iris M. Mack signed on to be a quantitative analyst for Harvard Management Company in early 2002, hoping, she says, to find job security and distance from the risky trading and accounting practices that forced her last employer into bankruptcy in the company charged with managing Harvard’s endowment.
But only a few months later, Mack says she was fired after she raised concerns to University officials about managers’ qualifications and possibly irresponsible usage of financial instruments [derivatives] that could have contributed to the recent and sudden decline in Harvard’s endowment.
In an e-mail sent May 30, 2002 to Marne Levine, chief of staff for then-Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers, Mack detailed her concerns regarding what she deemed HMC’s “frightening” usage of derivatives and statistical modeling techniques, as well as the Company’s lack of a timely and portfolio-wide risk management system, high employee turnover rate, and low level of productivity in the workplace, specifically among managers.
According to documents and e-mail records, all provided by Mack, Levine had initially assured Mack that their correspondence would remain confidential. But on July 1, HMC chief Jack R. Meyer called Mack into a meeting, in which she was presented with copies of her e-mails, according to a letter sent to Levine and Summers by Mack’s attorney.
Gotta run, so read the rest of the story for the detail.