Finance Professor, Philip E. Strahan Takes a Holistic Look at Finance
Prof. Strahan sees memorable lessons to be gained from the global financial crisis
August 25, 2011
Compared with other MBA professors, Prof. Philip E. Strahan, Professor and John L. Collins, S.J. Chair in Finance comes from an eclectic and creative background. His dad taught high school education in subjects such as foreign languages, music and humanities. Both his mother and father also played and taught the piano. Strahan has pleasant childhood memories of his parents singing and playing duets together. “Academia was hailed as the golden path in our household. Teaching was considered a noble thing to do," says Strahan.
It's no wonder then that Strahan has gone on to become an academic himself. He teaches an excellent class for both MSF and MBA students with a finance focus at the Boston College Carroll School of Management. His class, Management of Financial Institutions, addresses risk management challenges faced by banks, investment banks and other financial institutions.
While most other finance classes offered at the Carroll School focus in depth on one aspect or another of the financial system, Strahan’s class ties it all together — taking a holistic look look so that students can understand how all of the pieces fit together in the global financial system. Since 2008, the class also studies the financial crisis, looking at what both managers of financial institutions as well as policymakers can learn from the mistakes made.
Strahan immensely enjoys his work at the Carroll School and describes the atmosphere as “collegial.” Prior to this he spent seven years working at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as a research economist. Today he still works as an editor of the Journal of Financial Intermediation.
As an academic, Strahan says he really enjoys collaborating with other Carroll School faculty and graduate students on research. A recent study focuses on liquidity risk management as an explanation for the collapse of credit supply during the financial crisis [soon to be published in The Journal of Financial Economics.] Recently, he has also written on topics such as how hedge fund trading was affected by the Lehman bankruptcy, and how conflicts of interest at the credit rating agencies affected the pricing of MBS securities.
Strahan thinks that his students enjoy hearing about his research and that his class nicely complements some of the other finance classes available. "My students say that they love it because it’s so pragmatic," he says. "The global financial crisis, although it was terrible, offers some truly memorable lessons."