Income inequality, financialization, and a socially inefficient distribution of both capital and talent are the legacies of shareholder capitalism.
n October 1, 2018, the newly christened Klarman Hall opened to much acclaim on the campus of Harvard Business School. The stunning $120 million building houses a conference center as well as a gleaming auditorium built around a 32-million-pixel, 1,250-square-foot video wall and a state-of-the-art, modular design that seats up to a thousand attendees.1 To mark the opening, the school held a daylong series of speeches and lectures, headlined by the building’s namesake and one of the school’s wealthiest living graduates, billionaire investor Seth Klarman.
Sixty-two-year-old Klarman leads Baupost Group, a hedge fund headquartered high above historic Boston Common. The New York Times has called Klarman “the most successful and influential investor you have probably never heard of,” while theEconomist nicknamed him the “Oracle of Boston,” a comparison to Warren Buffett.2 Like Buffett, Klarman has a cultlike following within so-called value investing circles. An out-of-print book that he wrote early in his career, Margin of Safety, now commands over $1,500 for a paperback copy on Amazon.