MBA presidents not big in Japan

Michael Fitzgerald By Michael Fitzgerald

Mitt Romney (L) and Tim Pawlenty (C) talk with a New Hampshire metal fabricating plant owner in January. (Credit: Reuters)

One of George W. Bush’s professors from business school says America can’t afford another MBA president.

“Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates are all promising the same failed policies that have given us the Iraq fiasco and the Bush Great Recession,” Baruch College-CUNY professor Yoshi Tsurumi wrote in The Japan Times.

Tsurumi taught a year-long class George W. Bush took while working on his master’s of business administration at Harvard. Tsurumi gained notoriety during the 2004 U.S. presidential elections for calling Bush one of his worst students at HBS.

Most of Tsurumi’s column is aimed not at Bush but at Romney, also a Harvard MBA. He says Romney’s claim of creating 100,000 jobs at Bain Capital were “phantom jobs.” He questions why Romney opposed the bailout of GM but supported that for Wall Street banks. He says that Romney should stop bashing “Obamacare” modeled after Romney’s Massachusetts healthcare mandate, and instead educate Republicans on why Obama-Care, will make America more competitive in the global economy.

“MBA students are taught to treat people as disposable costs. Businesses exist only to reward their abstract stockholders’ financial speculation. This stockholder value mantra justifies the greed of the executive aristocrats.”

He questioned why courses on flexible manufacturing have all but disappeared at U.S. business schools, while Japanese companies have added a million new manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

And he ends by taking a jab at the Texas economy.

Of course, Tsurumi has been in the U.S. so long he’s practically American ( he got – guess what? – an MBA from Harvard in 1966), but he’s an expert in the differences between the American and Japanese economies and in the flow of international trade and has advised both the Japanese and American governments.

Romney has been front and center for The Japan Times’ opinion page this week — it also ran a column by Robert J. Samuelson on how Romney must craft an effective response to the Republican attacks on his record at Bain Capital in the primaries, or he has no hope of doing so against President Obama.

Sadly, The Japan Times does not allow for comments on its opinion pieces. We’d be interested in what you think about Tsurumi’s dim view of MBA presidents.

Straight to the Source

  • Michael Fitzgerald

    Before Bush 43, the president with the best business resume was….Herbert Hoover. He was a technocrat and consultant who could do no wrong in the business world, but had no answer for the Depression.