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Keynes, King's, and Endowment Asset Management

In: How the Financial Crisis and Great Recession Affected Higher Education

  • David Chambers
  • Elroy Dimson
  • Justin Foo

Founded in 1441, King's College was one of Cambridge University's wealthiest Colleges, endowed with a vast agricultural portfolio. John Maynard Keynes was appointed bursar just after WWI and initiated a major reallocation to equities, an innovation at least as radical as the late 20th century commitment to illiquid assets by Harvard and Yale. Keynes initially pursued a market-timing approach to investment with mixed success and failed to anticipate the 1929 market crash. Thereafter, his switch to a patient buy-and-hold strategy allowed him to maintain his commitment to equities in the subsequent market slump, reflecting the natural advantages that accrue to long horizon investors. Keynes' innovations in endowment asset management, implemented over a dynamic period of capital market development and economic turbulence remain of great relevance to modern investors emerging from the Great Recession.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Jeffrey R. Brown & Caroline M. Hoxby, 2014. "How the Financial Crisis and Great Recession Affected Higher Education," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number brow12-2, August.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 12860.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12860
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    1. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1992. " The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 427-65, June.
    2. J. E. Woods, 2013. "On Keynes as an investor," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(2), pages 423-442.
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    5. Jeffrey R. Brown & Stephen G. Dimmock & Jun-Koo Kang & Scott J. Weisbenner, 2014. "How University Endowments Respond to Financial Market Shocks: Evidence and Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(3), pages 931-62, March.
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    8. Fantacci, Luca & Marcuzzo, Maria Cristina & Sanfilippo, Eleonora, 2010. "Speculation In Commodities: Keynes’ “Practical Acquaintance” With Futures Markets," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 32(03), pages 397-418, September.
    9. Tobin, James, 1974. "What Is Permanent Endowment Income?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 427-32, May.
    10. Andrew Ang & Dimitris Papanikolaou & Mark Westerfield, 2013. "Portfolio Choice with Illiquid Assets," NBER Working Papers 19436, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Campbell, John Y. & Viceira, Luis M., 2002. "Strategic Asset Allocation: Portfolio Choice for Long-Term Investors," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296942, March.
    12. David Chambers & Elroy Dimson, 2013. "Retrospectives: John Maynard Keynes, Investment Innovator," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 213-28, Summer.
    13. Marcuzzo, Maria Cristina, 2012. "Speculation and regulation in commodity markets: The Keynesian approach in theory and practice," MPRA Paper 44131, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Ahearne, Alan G. & Griever, William L. & Warnock, Francis E., 2004. "Information costs and home bias: an analysis of US holdings of foreign equities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 313-336, March.
    15. Accominotti, Olivier & Chambers, David, 2014. "Out-of-Sample Evidence on the Returns to Currency Trading," CEPR Discussion Papers 9852, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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