The Keepers of Finance: U.S. Financial Leadership at the Crossroads

The Keepers of Finance: U.S. Financial Leadership at the Crossroads

The Keepers of Finance: U.S. Financial Leadership at the Crossroads

The Keepers of Finance: U.S. Financial Leadership at the Crossroads

Synopsis

Financial leadership must not be confused with financial wealth, warns Jeremy Taylor, who sets up guideposts from history to point the way out of our current financial crisis. By developing the concept of financial stewardship, he shows why private gain must be countered with public responsibility. In the course of U.S. history six leaders emerged to set the country on a balanced financial course--Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Carter Glass, and Franklin Roosevelt. By exercising leadership, they were able to achieve the primary goal of finance--balancing private and public interests. Based on their successes and an analysis of recent history, Taylor recommends specific actions for rebuilding a financial system with a sense of public responsibility.

Excerpt

Leadership occurs in the context of events; it can only be understood in the light of history. Events and history are close--so close indeed that history may be viewed simply as a succession of events. the contrasting peculiarity of leadership is that the distance is vast between the occurrence of leadership and our understanding of what it involves. Leadership happens, and after all that has been said and written on the subject we often still do not know quite why it happened or, even, what happened. We cannot re-create it. in this literal sense, leadership is unique.

When studying financial leadership, like any other form of leadership, the path to understanding it will therefore be both long and deep. We must have a grasp of events and history. Otherwise we will only skim the surface. in the United States today the financial events at the tip of the iceberg are familiar. They are the stock market crash of October 1987 and the correction of October 1989. They are a multi-billion-dollar Savings and Loan (S&L) bailout of ever- increasing proportions. They are a series of $100+ billion annual budget deficits. They are back-to-back years of losses in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's (FDIC) fund of over $5 billion (1988-89), more than a quarter of the total fund. They are Third World debt and the Brady Plan. They are Ivan Boesky, Michael Milken, Charles Keating. Individually, each event is . . .

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