Letters to the Editor

‘Wonder Woman’ (10/10)

To the Editor:? As a child of the 70s, no heroic sobriquet could have given me greater pleasure than the one generously assigned by your paper earlier this month. No doubt, many participants in the global financial system are hoping that a band of Marvel superheroes will ride to the rescue. Unfortunately, in spite of herculean government intervention, the depth of this crisis will have profound and potentially lasting consequences for markets and the global economy. As I write, the S&P 500 index of US equities has achieved a new low, having lost nearly half of its value since its peak last October. Other global markets are down even more sharply. I believe we have taken important steps to mitigate the impact of the current turmoil on our school. Steadfast leadership from the Head of School, the Administration and the Board will ensure that Andover continues to pursue its critical mission but these are likely to be trying times. The good news is that tough times generate opportunity and highlight the value of an Andover education. There are many ways to characterize the origins of this crisis, but I would argue that it was rooted in failures of critical judgment, moral principle and leadership: the very bedrock of an Andover education. It was neither good nor knowledgeable for investment professionals to rely blindly on mathematical models that promise the free lunch of higher returns for less risk or take on more leverage just because it was cheap. There was nothing non sibi about management teams across Wall Street driving up leverage to enhance near term earnings and equity returns with little eye to the potential consequences. But goodness, knowledge and energy will be required to meet the challenges facing the global economy in the next decade. Globalization, effective capital allocation and financial innovation are important pillars of economic growth. You represent the leadership potential that can ensure that we move forward as a global community, rather than let fear divide us. So go forth with confidence. You may not have a cape but you have what it takes to make a difference. Amy Falls ’82 Chief Investment Officer