I probably learned the most useful information during the MBA program from Jerry White. He had a real talent for converting theory into reality and almost 25 years later I can still remember his classes better than anyone else’s. I distinctly recall sitting in a lecture hall one night watching him go through some seemingly very reasonable depreciation assumptions on an income statement. At just the right moment he said, “Watch this, I can convert an unprofitable company into a profitable one in about 5 minutes”, and he proceeded to show us how to do so.
That lesson on how easy would be for someone unethical to manipulate financial statements really stuck with me as I later watched Wall Street melt down and subsequently recover.