In a world that moves ever faster, shortening attention spans while occasionally raising tensions, Institutional Investor remains committed to what sometimes seems an endangered, if not dying, art: long-form journalism. The desire for instant information has not, we think, eliminated the need for careful dissection and thorough analysis.
In this issue we are delighted to offer readers David McClintick's riveting account of the sorry history of a high-profile program designed to advise Russia on its conversion to capitalism, run by Harvard University on behalf of the U.S. government. In "How Harvard Lost Russia," beginning on page 62, McClintick, a prizewinning investigative journalist and Harvard alumnus, tells the cautionary tale of how the university's program began with great promise in the heady days of the early 1990s, then collapsed in disgrace a few years later. Last summer Harvard and its fellow defendants agreed to pay more than $31 million to settle civil charges levied against them by the U.S. government.
McClintick notes that the Harvard economics professor who headed the Russia program, Andrei Shleifer -- who agreed to pay $2 million in the settlement -- still teaches at the university, despite the grumblings of some faculty members, who point out that he happens to be a protégé and close friend of Harvard president Lawrence Summers, a former U.S. Treasury secretary.
Elsewhere in this issue, in a three-part special report, readers can get a comprehensive take on the nation's pension crisis. We examine legislative solutions being hatched on Capitol Hill in "Pension Peril," by Senior Editor Steven Brull; in "Trying Times," we gather four of the nation's leading money managers for a wide-ranging roundtable discussion of a host of crucial issues facing pension funds, foundations and endowments; and, last, in "Rich Plan, Poor Plan," Brull examines the retirement benefits offered by one company, United Parcel Service of America, whose union-affiliated workers belong to a much more endangered plan than do its nonunion employees.
These and other stories in this issue reflect our commitment to in-depth reporting and analysis. We hope they leave our readers informed and entertained.