Can America Compete? (Part I)

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[This Commentary originally appeared in the September 14, 1989 issue of The Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.]

Part One – The Risk-Return Tradeoff

The following is the first in series of two commentaries aimed at presenting a unique approach to determining our nation’s position within the world’s economy. This week is expository, meaning some readers will already be familiar with the concept of the risk-return tradeoff. In the spirit of all mini-series, we save the real interesting part for next week.

CarosaCommentaryNewLogo_259Finance professors, like all other professors, find they can enhance their employment options (i.e., get tenured) by coming up with all these fancy dancy theories to describe the real world. They write scholarly articles and intricate textbooks (most of which end up on the “Required Reading” list of the courses they teach). Many of these theories remain in the academic realm (where they can take on a life of their own). Every once in a while, though, a really neat idea escapes the verbosity of pedantic journals and appears in the vernacular of the newsweeklies. (When this happens, the professor generally writes a book for the casual reader, appears on several talk shows and becomes a highly paid consultant.)

One of the more significant investment models developed by the academic industry goes by the name, in generic terms, Modern Portfolio Theory. It attempts to provide a Continue Reading “Can America Compete? (Part I)”