The MBA is definitely not dead

Good morning.

Is the MBA dead? If you look at the salaries that companies pay recent graduates of elite schools, the answer seems to be a resounding “no.”

As part of our new ranking of full-time MBA programs, Fortune collected data on starting salaries.  Over the past decade, Wharton graduates (No. 3 on our list) have seen their starting salaries go up 36% to $150,000. Stanford graduates (No. 2) saw starting salaries go up 30% to $156,000. And University of Chicago Booth School graduates (No. 4) saw salaries go up 47% to $150,000.

Even that doesn’t tell the full story of the heated competition for top business school talent. Harvard, which ranked number one on our list, said 60% of their graduates received a signing bonus, with a median amount of $30,000. And 72% were eligible for an additional performance bonus, with a median of $35,000. In short, the marketplace clearly still values business school degrees.

You can find our new ranking of full-time MBAs this morning here. And you can read our methodology, which focuses heavily on the expressed value companies put on the degrees, here. One interesting result: Howard University ranks significantly higher on our list (no. 30) than on competing lists. Writer Sydney Lake calls it “the nation’s most underrated full-time MBA program.”

Separately, PayPal and JUST Capital have teamed up to encourage companies to focus on the “financial wellness” of their employees. The effort was launched by PayPal CEO Dan Schulman, who did a “living wage” assessment to set the pay of his call center workers rather than simply accept the prevailing market wage. Companies that have joined the Worker Financial Wellness Initiative and have agreed to follow suit include Chipotle, Chobani, Even, Prudential Financial and Verizon. Schulman and Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol will be on CNBC this morning to encourage others to join the effort.

More news below.

Alan Murray


Booster shame

The World Health Organization has slammed the rich world's rush to secure booster vaccines, at a time when most people in poorer countries can only dream of getting basic vaccination. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: "The priority now must be to vaccinate those who have received no doses and protection." Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies program: "These are people who want to have their cake and eat it, and then they want to make some more cake and eat it too." Al Jazeera

Hong Kong

The Biden administration is reportedly set to warn U.S. companies of the threats they face if operating in Hong Kong, namely Chinese government access to their data, and the new Chinese law allowing sanctions against anyone complying with foreign sanctions against Chinese groups and officials. The U.S. will also warn companies of the legal risks they face if their supply chains are implicated in Xinjiang forced labor. (Bonus read: a big I-told-you-so from Niall Ferguson.) Financial Times

France vs Google

Google has been hit with a $593 million antitrust fine in France, over its failure to agree a compensation deal with news publishers over the snippets of their articles it includes in search results. The antitrust regulator said Google had to comply with an order demanding talks with the publishers within three months of them asking for it. The company now has two months to come up with its proposal for compensation, if it wants to avoid further big fines. Reuters

European restrictions

To tackle the advance of the Delta variant, France will start requiring COVID passports for entry to all bars and restaurants, and is making vaccines mandatory for all health care workers. Portugal and parts of Spain are reimposing restrictions on nightlife. And Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, whose government has just been forced to close nightclubs again, has apologized to the nation for easing all restrictions at once (like Delta-swamped England is about to do). Politico


Carbon borders

The European Commission will tomorrow unveil its plan for a "carbon border adjustment mechanism"—essentially a CO2-related levy on goods entering the EU, designed to protect European industry from manufacturing going offshore in search of less onerous environmental costs. But some manufacturers warn the mechanism could hurt the companies it's trying to protect. Fortune

South African riots

A wave of mass looting has struck South Africa in the wake of former President Jacob Zuma's imprisonment for contempt of court. Some retail chains have closed all their stores in hard-hit provinces such as KwaZulu-Natal, and the violence—which comes in the context of a ruinous third wave of COVID-19—has disrupted vaccination sites and supply chains. Dozens have died in the unrest. The army has been called in. The rand declined by as much as 2% again the dollar. Business Maverick

Robinhood warning

Maurice D. Pessah—a lawyer involved in litigation against Robinhood—warns that retail investors should beware the soon-to-float company. "Retail investors should start asking themselves if they are prepared to trade on a platform that offers zero protection for their money, and argues repeatedly that it owes minimal legal duties to its clients while it says it 'stands for everyday investors'," he writes. Fortune

Digital twins

Tether co-founder William Quigley reckons consumer goods will all end up having non-fungible tokens (NFTs)—digital certificates of authenticity—associated with them soon. Quigley: "All consumer products—that can’t be eaten—in the next 10 years will have digital twins." Fortune

This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.

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