November 30, 2021


10:50 p.m.

Endowment Reaches Record High; Prof. Thaler Gives Lecture to Mark Release of 'Nudge: The Final Edition' | Newsletter for December 1

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Good morning. It’s ninth week. Feeling the spirit of the season (is that finals season 📓 or holidays season 🎅)?

You can read our digital edition here.

The University of Chicago’s consolidated endowment grew by 37.6 percent to $11.6 billion during the 2021 fiscal year (FY21).

  • This year’s return on investment, which is the University’s highest since the 1999–2000 fiscal year, raises the endowment to a record level.
  • The University’s high return this year comes after a disappointing return of 3.2 percent during the 2020 fiscal year (FY20) and exceeds the average annual return since 2009 by 26.6 percent.

University of Chicago economics professor Lars Peter Hansen published a paper in September questioning the policy toolkit available to central banks in response to the risk posed by the threat of climate change.

  • The paper highlights concerns regarding the distancing of central banks from the political arena, the accuracy of stress tests, and the effectiveness of monetary policy in lowering carbon emissions when compared to the capability of fiscal policy.
  • In order for central banks to craft effective climate policy, Hansen stresses the need for quantitative modeling to guide decision-making and the distancing of bank policies from politics.

Professor Richard Thaler of the Booth School of Business gave an open lecture on November 3 about his and his co-writer Cass Sunstein’s 2008 book Nudge and its new edition, Nudge: The Final Edition, released this summer.

  • His book’s new edition expands on the previous, foundational concept of “nudge” to add the concept of “sludge.”
  • Thaler also spoke about the idea of defaults and automatic enrollment and suggested that there can be more harm done than good with automatic enrollment.


In Viewpoints

Editors Kelly Hui and Gage Gramlick write in:

Columnist Clark Kovacs calls for the abolition of tenure.

Columnist Luke Conteras lambastes the opening of a pop-up Lululemon store on East 53rd Street as another example of the University’s project of gentrification in Hyde Park.


In Arts

Editor Isabella Cisernos writes in:

Regarding the recent opening of The Office Experience downtown, Arts reporter Evan Williams claims, “It’s precisely what makes The Office great—its mundanity—that prevents it from being used as a spectacle.”

Arts reporter Noah Glasgow reviews Steppenwolf Theatre’s transfixing—yet perplexing—Bugs, its first in-person offering since the beginning of the pandemic.


In Sports

Editor Finn Hartnett writes in:
The UChicago men’s soccer team reached the final stages of the 2021 NCAA Division III Championship on November 19 after a 1–0 victory against Calvin University. The team have since progressed to the final four of the tournament, beating North Park 2–0 on November 20.