Originally Published in The New York Times

By Kelley Holland

John Thain has one. So do Richard Fuld, Stanley O’Neal and Vikram Pandit. For that matter, so does John Paulson, the hedge fund kingpin.

Yes, all five have fat bank accounts, even now, and all have made their share of headlines. But these current and former giants of finance also are all card-carrying M.B.A.’s.

The master’s of business administration, a gateway credential throughout corporate America, is especially coveted on Wall Street; in recent years, top business schools have routinely sent more than 40 percent of their graduates into the world of finance.

But with the economy in disarray and so many financial firms in free fall, analysts, and even educators themselves, are wondering if the way business students are taught may have contributed to the most serious economic crisis in decades.

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