Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

My Take on a Tumultuous Year

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

My Take on a Tumultuous Year

Article excerpt

Someone asked me a question the other day that really made me think about everything we've been through over the past 12 months.

"What's the most important thing you learned as chairman of the American Bankers Association?"

The most important thing--during the most difficult year for the industry anyone can remember? There is so much. But as my daughter, a community bank HR manager, might say:

It all comes down to the people.

I am thinking of the thousands of people I met at ABA conferences and in state association conventions all across the country. They were wonderful hosts and great audiences. But most important, they were dedicated to their banks and their communities, attending meetings to learn, improve, and advance the industry's causes.

The executives who run the state bankers associations are outstanding leaders who made a tremendous difference as we waged war against some ill-conceived legislative proposals. ABA's frequent--sometimes daily--conference calls with the state execs during the peak of the Dodd-Frank Act debate helped to surface issues, devise effective responses, and share intelligence.

ABA members were amazing in their overwhelming support. Their repeated visits to Capitol Hill and the emails, faxes and phone calls added up to hundreds of thousands of contacts with official Washington. These contacts helped us score important victories--whether the preservation of the thrift charter or defeat of a mortgage cram-down amendment.

And then there are the people at ABA. …

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