This week I was part of a panel at the CFA Institute’s annual summer symposium, held at the University of Chicago. It was an honor to be part of the program, of course, but as it landed in the middle of earnings season and a range of other commitments, I was focused on the content and not the context.
Luckily I met up a friend after the seminar who had attended business school at Chicago, and she put things in their proper place. Did I see the long hallway of Nobel Prize winners upstairs? She asked. Yes, yes I had. Did I know who Eugene Fama was? Yes, yes I do. Did I realize Chicago was the home of efficient market theory? Yes, yes of course. I was more and more puzzled as her questions persisted.
Then, like a great trial lawyer, she concluded, so you just gave a talk for the most rigorous credentialing body in your field at the birthplace of efficient market theory, about the importance of environmental, social, and governance considerations and the beyond-utilitarian purpose of investing?
Yes, yes I had.
It is hard to see the water we are swimming in, as David Foster Wallace taught us. Things are so slow to change, and then so fast.
Dear friends, what has already shifted, right beneath our feet?
* With thanks to Kathy and Margo for making this reflection possible!