Stafford Said What?

This week we have some more entertaining comments from around the HBS campus, including a few from Assistant Professor Erik Stafford in the Finance Department. Many thanks to Jeni Golomb (NB) for all of the quotes provided by her and Section NB. We continue to encourage all members of our HBS community to submit any and all comments by emailing them to

Finance Professor Erik Stafford:
“OK. I’m sorry. I’ve made a lot of noise, and I haven’t heard one thing you’ve said.”
“So, let’s get started so we can leave replica watches.”
On why we use beginning of period instead of end of period market capital when calculating portfolio returns: “Several PhD students at the University of Chicago were kicked out of the program for making such a mistake.”
“You don’t get a Nobel Prize for something that’s really obvious.”
“[Short selling] seems like it might not work, but it’s actually legal.”
“If you don’t say that you’re risk averse, I’d say that you haven’t done enough introspection.”

Ricardo Berner (NH): “Why don’t we cut SG&A? That’s where the biggest cost is in this case.”
FRC Professor Greg Miller: “Because that’s where all the accountants salaries are.”

More from Professor Miller:
“It’s hard to tie a tie short on me.”
After a student insulted accountants: “There are always a few students who don’t get a degree.”
Jokingly insulting students lack of preparation for the previous class: “If you had been prepared, then you might have caught me on some of the things I didn’t know. I wanted us to be on an equal footing.”
Correcting a comment from the previous class: “Mosquitoes do not eat wood.”
“Romeo, Michigan makes engines and they also made Kid Rock. At least the engines are high quality.”

Patricia Pu (NH): “I wasn’t listening, but I heard you said something about Michigan.”
Miller: “I said everybody from Michigan gets a three.”
Pu: “That means you get a three.”
Miller: “I’ll take a three. I’ve got enough ones saved up that I can afford a three.”

More from Pu: “I only drink Coke. I’m anti-Pepsi. I’ve taken the Pepsi challenge, and I actually like the taste of Pepsi better, but I like Coke because it’s pretty.”

Andrew Matuch // (NH), halfway through Marketing class: “Just to go back to this marketing thing…”

Jenn Taylor (NH), in FRC: “I feel happy about the fact that we made more revenue, and I’m bummed about the fact that our expenses are higher than

Cris Setuain (OB), making a fine transition mid-cold call: “And now I would like to trash the other two options.”

Jean Bonnavion (OE), after receiving a sheet outlining a new half-course in the Finance Department called “Value Investing Workshop,” meant to be a follow-on to Investment Management: “Do you expect this course to be numbers intensive?”

Professor Monica Higgins in Self-Assessment and Career Development: “If there’s any herd out there this year, it’s ‘Get myself a job.'”
Professor David Arnold in International Marketing, after showing an HBS interviewer talking with two case protagonists in the BRL Hardy Australian wine case: “You can tell these interviews were filmed after lunch. The interviewer is struggling to stay awake, but the BRLH folks are ready to go, having tanked up at lunch as usual.”