Merriam Webster defines arbitrage as “the nearly simultaneous purchase and sale of securities or foreign exchange in different markets in order to profit from price discrepancies.”

The 2012 movie, Arbitrage, starring Richard Gere as Robert Miller, highlights the various ethical decisions Miller must overcome in order to maintain his reputation as both a successful business executive and affluent family man. After a copper-mine investment falters, Miller falsifies his corporation’s financial documents in order to keep his corporation above water to protect his shareholders and his family. Miller then races to sell his corporation before the tremendous losses are exposed. Arbitrage is a tangible example demonstrating precisely what leads various companies throughout the world to take part in fraudulent behavior.

As an MBA student, you will be required to take Financial Accounting with Dr. Gress. After the Enron and related scandals came to surface, congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, requiring executives to sign off on their firm’s financial statements. This new act has innumerable implications for firms and investors, but the most important takeaway is that current and future managers are now held responsible for providing honest and accurate financial statements.

In addition to learning fundamental accounting concepts, Dr. Gress does an amazing job of incorporating lessons concerning ethics, mostly involving his own real-life examples. His humbling lessons help the one-year MBA cohort remember that our required classes are not just a means to an ends. Rather, all the course material has real-life implications that we will draw on for years to come.