This is a transcript of a symposium where John Griffin played a tape of Manuel Asensio speaking to his class
at University of Virginia.  Griffin introduced Asensio not by name but as a "Wall Street guy who's a little
controversial because he's a short seller," never mentioning that he is one of Asensio's clients.

For the video, go to and scroll down to Teaching and Learning.


John A. Griffin: Thank you. Thank you for having me here. I thought you might find it interesting how I got here because teaching is not something I do full time but is something that I enjoy as much as my day job which is managing Blue Ridge Capital. What happened was when I was a student and I was studying investments, I was being taught about random [walk] theory and quantitative equations and nobody beats the market and all this. I thought to myself, you know, this didn't exactly seem right to me and when I embarked on a career in the investment world, I was happy to have many great teachers and mentors, mainly Julian Robertson who runs Tiger Management and after I left and I had a little more time beyond running Blue Ridge Capital which is an investment firm, I thought what do I really want to do and I said one thing I'd like to do is really teach people what the heck is going on in the investment world because it's nothing like what's going on in the classroom, and the only place that I could do this at the time was Columbia Business School and I said them, I can teach this class but the students have to come to my office and have to be these other sort of things so I can manage both, and they agreed to do it.

And some professors at UVA heard about this and they said wait a second. He's one of ours. He can't be teaching at Columbia Business School and someone who's in this room said to me, John, you've to teach down at UVA and I said there's no way I can get down here and he said, well, we'll do anything. We'll beam you down there, and I said, well, if you can do that, I'd clearly be interested in doing it and at the time the technology was changing such that there wasn't enough bandwidth where you could have a true interactive class through the pipe into the classroom and the McIntire School outfitted Room 130 with videoconferencing equipment, state of the art. I decided to put it into my office anyway, and we had the first class this past spring and I have to say, it was a remarkable experience and I think what I'd like to do-- This'll only take a minute. It'll be tough for people outside, but I would like to just show you just a snippet of the class. Now, this has not been well produced. Remember, this is a tape of a tape, so the quality's not great. The first speaker is Herb Greenberg, a star reporter on Wall Street talking to the class. He's works at the I can get any speaker in the world because I just say come to my class. We beam you down. They're like, okay.

So I get them all. Julian-- I get reporters, I get hedge fund managers, anyone will do this. I think we'll get Warren Buffet next year because we'll bring the equipment to him or he'll just go downstairs in his building and we'll beam him in, so I had this reporter and he's talking a little bit and there'll be a scene where they scan the class. This is what he's seeing. He's seeing the students on a very large screen in my office just like I'm looking at this portion of the audience now. Why don't we just play that part and then I'll tell you when to stop it.

Audio and video of classroom. That's the class obviously. There's Herb. He's in my office sitting next to me. This is what the students see obviously. Here they are. This is what he's seeing. So you get a little flavor for it. I think the next one is another Wall Street guy who's a little controversial because he's a short seller and if you just put the second tape in. I think he asks a question of the class and one of the students answered. You can see what happens. When the students answers a question, their head becomes the whole screen. This is in Darden because we didn't have our room yet. So he answers. You can stop it now.

That was the old technology. Just one quick thing is it's even-- This was just eight months ago. Even now, it's more like just watching a video and remember, you're seeing a tape of a tape, so the experience is very rich. I don't want to use up too much time. My point is on doing this. I think this could greatly enrich the academic environment in terms of bringing in people. Maybe if they don't want to teach a whole class, because this is a big commitment. Not many people have that kind of flexibility, but just to bring in speakers--

I had lunch in Pavilion IX which is the Dean of the Architecture School. I was telling her about it. I said, how hard would it be to get Philip Johnson to just go into the conference room and answer questions from your top architecture students. I know you could get him to do it, but he's not going to get in a plane at his age and fly all the way to Charlottesville, but you know what? You're going to get so much of the interaction on the video conferencing, so that was what I wanted to share with you.

I think that helping the students at UVA apply what they learn in the academic environment to what's going on in the business world or the architecture world or even the arts world can greatly enhance their experiences. I have a bunch of other stuff I was going to talk about but I think my time's probably up so I'll wait until the discussion.

Burbach: We can circle back. Thank you, John. Do you have any stock tips for the group?