Banker to the World

Friday, May 13, 2011

William Rhodes, former senior vice chairman of, and currently senior advisor to, Citigroup and Citibank, talks about his career, including working abroad with such figures as Fidel Castro, and his new book, Banker to the World: Leadership Lessons from the Front Lines of Global Finance.


William R. Rhodes
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Comments [13]

tom from Singapore

William Rhodes is another example working for somebody. Ultimately, he is a beneficiary of the system he claims to be critiquing. This undermines everything he says.Horrible!

Jun. 21 2011 06:18 AM
Louis from NYC

BANKER TO THE WORLD was the title of Brian's segment with Bill Rhodes - it's the title of his new book. Listening to this, I bought it.
A fascinating read! A guy that's hard to criticize, really. If Rhodes hadn't come upon a 4-car accident on the way to Brian's, he would have gone before the Goldman author as planned, and we could have had concentrated on Rhode's diplomatic achievements and experiences, which are vast - in re-structuring sovereign debt - over decades - on different continents - he's a hero in solving global crises. Why didn't he talk more about his fascinating career as he did in the book?

May. 17 2011 10:58 PM
Louis from New Jersey

A true banker who believes there were sufficient regulations on the books in spite of the repeal of Glass Steegal. Glass Steegal worked because FDR understood the how and why the financial sector always ends up leaving most of us: broke and in the gutter. There were no regulations on the shadow banking system. Just look at credit default swaps, insurance against losses on stock that one doesn't own - a bet, a roll of the dice. If that's sufficient regulation, I'll eat my hat!

May. 14 2011 06:07 AM

One question I have is why more of us aren't questioning the dominant view that we need these financial institutions to exist? They clearly aren't competent, although they certainly are uncommonly arrogant. And while even Brian Lehrer seems to accept the common opinion that Wall St. takes the "best and the brightest," it seems to me that it actually attracts the worst of humanity -- shallow, greedy people with no social conscience.

I would like there to be more discussion of the consumerism of Americans that leads people to seek out and hoard millions and billions of dollars for themselves, when there is no reason on earth anyone needs anywhere near those sums of money to lead a good and rewarding life. I think this is a real pathology we need to address.

May. 13 2011 11:09 AM
Josh Karan from Washington Heights

William Rhodes admitted that "he did not have the facts" about whether Goldman fraudulently marketed mortgages as sound when by their own trading they indicated the belief that these securities were unsound.

So why invite a guest like that? Why not get someone who does have the facts? Why pass off as an expert someone who trumpets his ignorance on a central issue of our day, against which thousands of people demonstrated yesterday? Why did not Brian say to William Rhodes, "don't you think it is important for you to seek the facts in this area if you are going to make pronouncements about the conduct of our financial system, and what should be done in the future to prevent a repetition"

This to me is part of why people do not get more involved -- even the self-perceived literate and compassionate amongst journalists fails to diligently question his guest.

That is why I listen to WBAI 99.5 FM. Amy Goodman, Juan Gonzalez, and many others on that station would not have been so lax in their exploration of this story.

May. 13 2011 10:58 AM
michele from nj

Oh come one! The banks were more than willing to take these so called risks (which weren't risks at all) because they knew they could pass it on. They quickly threw these known bad mortgage loans mostly forced on many people because they could sell them off to other local and world banks. This is an old story. Credit cards use to be hard to get, but they became candy and thrown at the young students knowing they would be financially at risk

May. 13 2011 10:47 AM
chip from nyc

I think the banks manage risk very well. They know that if they make risky investments and they pay off, they will make a lot of money. If the investments don't pay off, the government will bail them out. There is no risk for banks who make what the rest of us would call risky investments.

May. 13 2011 10:47 AM
Hugh Sansom

William Rhodes is another example of the fox watching the henhouse. Ultimately, he is a beneficiary of the system he claims to be critiquing. This undermines everything he says.

May. 13 2011 10:47 AM
Robert from NYC

Remember, Glass Stigel was repealed under Clinton and that was a BIG help to the financial/banking problems we feel today.We can thank Phil Graham, senator and crook at UBS, and his ilk for that. In all the praises of Clinton we constantly hear seem that one (of many) bad ones is never brought up, it's passed over.

May. 13 2011 10:43 AM
Hugh Sansom

See Nobel Laureate George Akerlof's seminal paper "Looting" --- Wall St., Greenspan, Bernanke, and others didn't miss risk, they _planned_ on it. They planned on being bailed out.

May. 13 2011 10:40 AM
JoeM from Brooklyn

But Goldman DID do something illegal. As placer or underwriter of the securities they sold to investors, they MISREPRESENTED both the securities and their role in them.

May. 13 2011 10:32 AM
JoeM from Brooklyn

But Goldman DID do something illegal. As placer or underwriter of the securities they sold to investors, they MISREPRESENTED both the securities and their role in them.

May. 13 2011 10:32 AM
David from Brooklyn

Passive? The New Bottom Line campaign has been organizing major street actions and protests at Big Bank shareholder meetings, just in the last days at Bank of America and Wells Fargo:

May. 13 2011 10:15 AM

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