Apr 12
Sonata Room, Gordon Commons
770 West Dayton Street
6:00 PM

Mihir A. Desai

Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance, Harvard Business School & Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return

Drawing on his recent book, Professor Desai will discuss how the humanities can be used to improve and illuminate financial theory and practice.  Using sources ranging from Jane Austen to Mel Brooks, Desai argues that the core ideas of finance are linked closely to our humanity, in contrast to the prevailing view of finance. That linkage allows an easier entry point to the ideas of finance and provides a roadmap to rehabilitating finance.

This lecture is the first in a new series, Foreseeing the Future, which seeks to bring together humanities and business students and faculty at UW-Madison. It is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and is part of a larger project, "Risk and Reward: Navigating Uncertainty Through Humanities - Business Connections."

Mihir A. Desai is the Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance at Harvard Business School and Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He received his Ph.D. in political economy from Harvard University; his MBA as a Baker Scholar from Harvard Business School; and a bachelor's degree in history and economics from Brown University. In 1994, he was a Fulbright Scholar to India.  

Professor Desai's areas of expertise include tax policy, international finance, and corporate finance.  His work has emphasized the appropriate design of tax policy in a globalized setting, the links between corporate governance and taxation, and the internal capital markets of multinational firms. He is a Research Associate in the National Bureau of Economic Research's Public Economics and Corporate Finance Programs, and served as the co-director of the NBER's India program. He has testified several times to Congressional bodies on various tax policy questions.

Professor Desai has taught extensively as an award-winning teacher at HBS and at Harvard University. He has taught public economics and entrepreneurship to undergraduates, finance and international finance to MBA students and executives, and tax law and policy to law students. Recently, Professor Desai created an online finance course through the HBX platform titled Leading with Finance.  His most recent book is The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return, published in May 2017.

His professional experiences include working at CS First Boston, McKinsey & Co., and advising a number of firms and governmental organizations. 

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