Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Grave Times Require Able Leadership. (ABA President's Position)

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Grave Times Require Able Leadership. (ABA President's Position)

Article excerpt

NOTHING WILL EVER BE QUITE THE same after the terrible events of September 11. The world changed that day. Civilized citizens of the globe must now unite in strength and honor to restore the social and economic fabrics of our lives. Bankers, I sense, are up to the task.

For while much has changed, much more should remain unchanged. Bankers must continue to be a symbol of stability, leadership and resilience in our communities.

That was the thinking that caused ABA to cancel its annual convention for the first time since WW II. We believed that during this time of trial, bankers ought to be at home with their customers, communities and families. It was a difficult decision to make. It was the right decision.

Now, as I prepare to represent the U.S. banking industry as ABA's new president, I am prouder than ever to call myself a banker. We are some 10,000 financial institutions strong. We employ more than a million-and-a-half men and women. We are in virtually every city and town in America. We provide jobs, capital, and economic vitality. And even in times of crisis -- as we have just proven again--our industry helps keep America working.

Throughout the week of the terrorist attacks, the banking system continued to function smoothly. Our banks, supported by the Federal Reserve and our other bank regulators, maintained the public's confidence in the nation's financial system. We protected Americans' deposits. We provided cash when needed. And we safeguarded peoples' financial records.

We also mourn the loss of many American lives, including industry colleagues and friends. I know I speak for everyone in the banking community when I say that our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

Now, our industry must focus on the rebuilding. We must help lead the way back to normalcy. That is our responsibility as bankers, and our responsibility as Americans. …

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