Penn State Endowment Loss is Small Potatoes

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So for those of you that haven’t heard, we’re in a recession. This “extended decline in general business activity, typically two consecutive quarters of falling real gross national product” has caused the Penn State endowment to lose $300 million in value.

Now you may be saying, “$300 million certainly is a lot of money.” You’d be right, but that amount pales in comparison to the loss sustained by the Harvard endowment. As reported today, investment choices by those geniuses at the Harvard Management Company caused the endowment to lose $8 BILLION over the last four months, or 22% of its value! This statistic brings to mind many things.

For one, the amount lost by those boys up in Cambridge amounts to 6.15 times the size of Penn State’s ENTIRE ENDOWMENT of $1.3 billion. Second, the $8 billion was only 22% of the total value, meaning that before the downturn, the endowment stood at a staggering $36.9 billion. This sum is larger than the GDP of 104 countries! Thirdly Next, even weakened 22%, the Harvard endowment stands 22.23 times greater than the Penn State one.

It all makes you wonder, “Just what were those eggheads at Harvard thinking?” How could they lose 22% of their investments, while the Penn State endowment only lost 18.75%. So much for the Ivy League…

[IvyGate via NYT]

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Eli is a junior majoring in International Politics. He enjoys paninis and books.