Many case studies written by HBS and at other universities are written to praise and worship managers of the business in question. The cases are often written by former students who have gone on to a company and want to demonstrate to former professors and prospective students their success. After writing the case, the author may return to his or her business school as a hero after students have discussed the insight and innovation of the management. A good example of this phenomena is the number of HBS case studies written about Enron and how the company was considered one of the most innovative companies in America.
Discussion of the case studies below takes a very different philosophy. The cases concentrate on analysis of mistakes that were made and what are some of the common themes of mistakes made in the financial analysis of the various investments. Cases are often relatively old so that you can see what went wrong and hopefully why things fell appart. Some of the cases such as Iridium, Petrozuata, Quezon and Dahbol use information from the HBS cases (the case write-ups are not included on the site because of copyright rules). However, financial models associated with some of the cases are included.
Case studies are introduced by working through analytical mistakes that were made in the U.S. housing crisis. As for all of the cases, a write-up is provided followed by videos and excel files. The excel exercises for the housing crisis discussion include techniques to download economic data into spreadsheets and how to create a financial model. Videos that demonstrate the analytical analysis are included in the table above.