article 03-27-2015

Documenting our country's financial history...

I want to talk briefly about an exciting project that I had the privilege of being a part of—a project that, after years of research, collaboration, and careful preparation, has been recently brought to life by the joint efforts of the Museum of American Finance and Columbia University Press.

Genealogy of American Finance—written by professors Robert E. Wright and Richard Sylla and published in association with Columbia Business School, my alma mater, on March 17, 2015—traces the birth and history of 50 U.S. financial corporations. Consisting of more than 300 pages and illustrations, the book chronicles how these institutions have helped to shape the economic, political, and social landscape in the U.S. over the span of two centuries.

Having more than 50 years of experience in the financial industry, and having in that time witnessed a number of dramatic changes, I have long championed the idea of documenting our country's financial history. Little did I know that, when my good friend Consuelo Mack of WealthTrack fame introduced me some years back to David Cowen, President of the Museum of American Finance, our discussion of the potential benefits of such a resource would one day bear fruit.

When plans for the book were put in motion by David and his team at the museum, I knew I wanted to contribute. Needless to say it has been a great honor to have had a small hand in such an important cause. As I say in my foreword to the book, which can be read in its entirety at the Columbia University Press Blog, "One can never completely understand the future without a comprehension of the past." 

Genealogy of American Finance not only serves as a window to the past, but acts as a critical text in which both students and financial professionals might gain insight into our country's financial future.  

Read the foreword

Preview the book

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