An Outrageous Case of Overcompensation

Letter to the Editors

To the editors:

I read recently that three of Harvard’s money managers made more than 900 times my annual salary last year (News, “Money Managers Win $15M Raise,” Dec. 3). I commend University President Lawrence H. Summers on finding and keeping such amazing individuals. A person who merits 300 times what I require to live in Boston must be absolutely over the top in intelligence, wisdom and capability.

May I present my plan to save the University a whopping sum on office and lab space, as well as on human resource administrative spending? Hire more people like these money managers. Sure, you pay them more, but you are getting 300 times the value of one worker. Two hundred and ninety-nine redundancies will provide all of the savings above, as well as the side benefit of bigger offices and a less crowded campus.

Still, it seems a pity that with an entire economics department, the University needs to depend on individuals so talented and unique that they deserve, as compensation, more money in a day than I make in a year. Are the professors not up to the task of investment management? Harvard’s philosophy of hiring faculty suggests that these faculty should be replaced by those money managers whose value is so clearly indicated by their Brobdingnagian, social-equilibrium-shattering pay packages.

Daniel B. Rosenberg

Dec. 4, 2002

The writer is a lecture demonstrator of chemistry and physics.