Newsweek contributor Niall Ferguson is under fire from Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman and others for mistakes in his latest cover story, critical of President Obama. In my mind, Ferguson hit a low point with this outlandish ode to charter schools last November.
Ferguson seemed to be overcome with excitement to be included in the cool-kids poker party. If he had done any research, he might have found that hedge-fund managers love charter schools for reasons that have nothing to do with poor children in struggling schools. Don Whittinghill, a consultant to the Louisiana School Boards Association, put it best when he explained the Wall Street-types aren't so much into philanthropy as in to "converting classrooms into profit centers."
Of course, it's probably a good excuse for getting together to play poker, too. The hedge-fund guys obviously are good at bluffing -- Ferguson isn't the only eager patsy for their philanthropic ruse.
Indiana is no stranger to the interests of hedge-fund groups. I've written numerous times of the campaign contributions flowing from Wall Street to Indiana's top school official.