Thursday, December 14, 2006

Howard Davies and the moral code at the LSE

Howard Davies, the Director of the London School of Economics, gave the opening address before the presentation of the MSc degree to my nephew, among others, yesterday. He spoke about the School's distrust of academic league tables. One important such table is the amount of money people earn in year after graduating. The Greek students went on to do their national service that year, so pt down their annual income as 100 Euros. The LSE dropped five places as a result.
Before the presentations began, Howard Davies put out a personal plea for his graduating students. This is surely common in such ceremonies. 'You've been enormously privileged - now it's your turn to go out there and put your education to good use, please care for the world' is one possible line for such emotive farewells. Not on this occasion.
Should any market surveyor approach you to ask your salary, please put down the highest figure you can bring yourself to put, he told them. No-one will ever check.
'I thought the LSE was a hotbed for radical socialist thought,' I said to my right-wing nephew after the show. I'd spent a these years fearing he was misplaced. 'What happened?'
'That all went out with the sixties,' he replied.
Before his current job , Howard Davies was head of the Financial Services Agency, the UK's single financial regulator. Previously he was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England after three years as Director General of the Confederation of British Industry. 1987 to 1992 saw him as Controller of the Audit Commission. His whole official role has been one of enforcing financial probity. His rallying call to his graduating students is that no-one will even check, go out and lie on behalf of your School, because the amount you earn is what it's all about. In this week of 8.8 billion pounds of bonuses paid in the city, maybe he's simply jealous - and I suppose that in advocating lying he was at least being honest about his true values - but how sad, pitiful and desperate it all truly is.


Blogger Erik said...

Hi Martin,

Interesting. Howard Davies is a shady character with very loose morals. See my story here:

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is totally unfair and distorted. For one thing it relies on stereotypes about LSE which never had that much basis in reality. Do you ever do any research? Secondly you have taken a humorous quotation out of context for the purposes of character assassination. This is petty and spiteful.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what you try to prove in this article.

9:10 PM  

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