Having a class during your entire spring break sucks. Or maybe not. As I got into the 2nd year of my MBA, I discovered that it wasn’t just the core curriculum that had changed. There were many new electives, some of them innovatively structured. Understanding global financial centers is a great example of the new innovative elective curriculum. So, if you’d want to study how London or New York became global financial centers, or what does Singapore, Dubai or Mumbai need to do to become the next financial hub, how would you do it? You could read of Capitals of Capital (yup, that’s an assigned reading for the class). Or take the train from Yale to New York and visit the NYSE, NASDAQ, NYMEX, an investment bank, a law firm with a large capital markets practice, non-profits working on New York’s development (yup, done that too). Or fly to London, Dubai and Hong Kong during spring break. Visit the Bank of England, the Dubai International Finance Center and the Hong Kong Exchange, and many other financial fiefdoms. (doing that right now). Understanding Global Financial Centers is structured in three parts. The first part, before spring break consisted of lectures and a case study on London. The second is visits to New York (in February) and London, Dubai, Hong Kong (during spring break). The final part is an independent study, groups of 4-5 students take on a financial center and present to the class why they think their city will be the next New York. I intend to talk about the class and the trip as we go along. Do come back for new posts! Now, I need to get off the computer, get out for a walk to Hyde Park and then to the National Gallery to see this lovely Botticelli.