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Harvard loses its lustre

An MBA from Harvard Business School used to buy entry into the financial and political elite of any country in the world. But as America's economic lead starts to fade, so too does the value and relevance of its most prestigious powerhouse

In 2002, Jeff Immelt, the chief executive of General Electric (GE), came to talk to students at Harvard Business School (HBS). He was direct and engaging as he paced around the auditorium in shirtsleeves, reeling off stories from his own time at the school and offering all kinds of advice on choosing and building a career. It was easy to see how he had scaled the ranks of GE, one of the most internally competitive businesses in the world.

There didn’t seem to be any question to which he didn’t have an answer until one student, stumbling over his words,…

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