Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Writing the Book on Banking

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Writing the Book on Banking

Article excerpt

When Phil Zweig began writing articles on banking in the 1970s, he had a personal revelation: "Banking wasn't as boring as I thought it was."

Zweig has since devoted much of his career to meticulously putting the subject of banking into words for such publications as ABA Banking Journal, American Banker, The Wall Street Journal, and Business Week, where he is an editor. The Manhattan-based journalist delved deeper into the world of finance with two books. The first, Belly-Up: The Collapse of the Penn Square Bank (Crown, 1985), was a look at a disastrous piece of recent banking history. Then, one of the people most responsible for making banking less boring became the subject of Zweig's second book, Wriston (Crown, 1995).

For Zweig, it was natural that Walter Wriston, the man who ruled Citicorp before John Reed (his hand-picked successor), would be the subject of his most recent book.

"Wriston always struck me as one of the boldest, more innovative, take-no-prisoners kind of bankers, and Citibank was clearly the boldest, most aggressive bank in the world," says Zweig.

Zweig spent several years trying to convince Wriston to work with him on the book. "Finally in 1987 he got tired of hearing from me," he says. They began meeting regularly after that. …

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