CUTTING ROOM: Why Harvard loves a recession; celebrity cult that went too far; Cornish pasties at the heart of Europe; funny, I've heard that joke before ... Evan Davis at large

CUTTING ROOM: Why Harvard loves a recession; celebrity cult that went too far; Cornish pasties at the heart of Europe; funny, I've heard that joke before ... Evan Davis at large - I've just spent a useful day at Harvard Business School, talking to staff a

by EVAN DAVIS, economics editor of the BBC

I've just spent a useful day at Harvard Business School, talking to staff and students about corporate scandals for a Radio 4 programme. As a group, they are more articulate than any other you could encounter.

Indeed, interviewing HBS people is enough to make radio producers weep, as every answer is delivered with as much precision as a well-organised PowerPoint presentation. That's great for clarity, but it's a pain to edit answers that start: 'Three points here. First: blah blah blah ...', if you want to broadcast only number two on the list.

I discovered something else interesting about the business school: it's a counter-cyclical business. I'm told the slow economy has sent applications up by about 15%. Potential students decide to study during the busts to prepare themselves for the next boom. It's a rare example of rational consumer behaviour that would please academic economists.

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