The United States in International Banking

The United States in International Banking

The United States in International Banking

The United States in International Banking

Excerpt

This volume is an attempt to review the evolution of some of the overseas activities of United States banking during and between the two great wars. During the life of the present generation the face of the world has changed to such an extent that past events may not be a reliable guide in the years to come. Nevertheless, in order to see present and future problems in their right perspective, it may be useful to retrace our course and to appraise previous achievements in the light of experience.

In this chronicle I have tried to show the part played by United States banks in the advancement of our foreign commerce and hence in the promotion of national prosperity. I have sketched the occasional setbacks caused by economic reverses or political disturbances in distant countries and in some instances by lack of competent guidance or sufficient training on the part of those who at certain stages were the standard-bearers of United States financial enterprise abroad. Finally, I have made bold to suggest that even though the labors of the American banks were carried on far from the fields of combat, nonetheless many significant tasks were performed within the walls and behind the counters of the skyscrapers of downtown Manhattan and the other important financial centers of this country and abroad that indirectly but very truly contributed to the victory of the Allied nations.

The material is based on the knowledge acquired in the course of more than thirty years spent as head of the foreign departments of leading New York banks, including frequent and prolonged stays overseas. Accordingly, the study is a practical account by one who has spent the greater part of his business life within the orbit of United States foreign banking. To a large extent I have relied upon personal observations and recollection. Names and dates have been checked insofar as they are available in public documents and prints. This volume is not offered as a textbook on foreign banking. The machinery . . .

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