Banker to the World: Leadership Lessons From the Front Lines of Global Finance

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Date

March 14, 2011

Format

Hardback, 288 pages

Other Formats


ISBN

0071704256 / 9780071704250

$

Your Price

25.00



Overview


Main description

Now featuring a New Preface on The Eurozone Debt Crisis Praise for Banker to the World

"From Ukraine to China and Nigeria to Egypt debt and finance are central to global stability and United States interests. No one else has nearly as much experience on the front lines as Bill Rhodes. All who care about the 21st century will profit from close study of his thoughts."
—Lawrence H. Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University, former Secretary of the Treasury for President Clinton, and former Director of the National Economic Council for President Obama

“No one knows better nor has more and better experience across the globe over the last 40 years in diagnosing and managing risks involving sovereign countries and major corporations. In today’s world, risk is a major external element in managing the strategy of a business. This book is clearly and simply written. It’s a must for all managers and all leaders who aspire to excel in the global game.”
—Ram Charan, co-author of the bestseller Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

“Bill Rhodes has been much more than a banker. As Citibanks’s long-time “ambassador to the world,” he’s been both a diplomat and a surrogate government official—for several countries. Both heads of companies and heads of state have not only sought his advice but relied on him to make deals—and he has delivered time and time again. This little book tells you how. Everyone—or at least everyone that matters in international finance-—knows Bill Rhodes. And after you read this amazing memoir, you’ll know him, and his undauntable personality, too.”
—Alan Blinder, Gordon S. Rentschler Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University

"...Once the immediate worry of a string of bank failures has abated, Berlin and Paris should then go about the business of restructuring errant countries' bank loans. The global community has been through this before. For a primer, Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron should read the short, breezily written but instructive book Banker to the World: Leadership Lessons from the Front Lines of Global Finance...by now-retired banker Bill Rhodes, who quarterbacked numerous, complex restructurings."
—Steve Forbes, "What's German for TARP," Forbes.com

"Rhodes's recollections are lively and richly detailed, replete with glimpses of top-ranking personalities from the world of banking and government interacting under pressure, and they provide a rare window into how these important but normally secretive operations of high-level international finance actually work. . . . Whether America’s bankers will run their firms more responsibly in the future remains an open question. They would do well to have people like William Rhodes in their senior management—and, next time around, to listen to them."
—The New York Review of Books

"Mr. Rhodes was one of the few members of the financial establishment to sense that the world was on the brink of a calamity in 2007 (most of the prophets of doom were either academic theoreticians or maverick financiers) . . . . In Banker to the World . . . Mr. Rhodes succeeds in hammering home three lessons that we need to take to heart if we are to have any chance of navigating the troubled waters that lie ahead. . . . Bankers to the world like Mr. Rhodes are buffetted from one unpredictable storm to another. They are forever on the verge of being ruined by events. And they rely on the seat of their pants as much as the power of their intellects. Mr. Rhodes is rightly proud of his record in defusing debt bombs and calming financial storms. Let's hope that his successors will be able to make similar boasts in the decades to come."
—The Wall Street Journal

"Bill Rhodes has been the consummate insider in international issues for more than three decades. He influenced U.S. and foreign policies on trade, exchange rates, and foreign debt resolution. Leaders around the world have benefited from Bill Rhodes’s advice. This book gives readers an honest review of the events and of the political leaders who made the key decisions."
—Professor Martin Feldstein, Department of Economics, Harvard University

"Bill Rhodes has made it his life’s work to bring common sense to the most serious international problems. On something I know firsthand, the Brady Plan, Bill's steady support and energy were invaluable to its conclusion. This comes as no surprise--that's what he always does."
—Nicholas Brady, former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury

"Banker to the World, a book exceptionally well titled, is an illuminating lesson in leadership, diplomacy, vision, and tenacity. It will be required reading at all levels of finance."
—Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of State

"Only one person could have written this book. At Citibank for 50 years, Bill Rhodes was a key decision-maker in the negotiations that took place in indebted countries in the wake of Mexico's default in 1982. He also was one of the few bankers who saw the recent 'Great Recession' coming. His memoir is a must for anyone who wants to recapture the behind-the-scenes details of this important recent era of banking history."
—Robert Mundell, Nobel Laureate and Professor, Columbia University

"A must-read. Bill Rhodes has seen it all, and his experiences and lessons learned are invaluable for all those involved in international relations and finance. Some of the lessons are applicable to problems being faced in the Euro zone and other advanced economies today. He was one of the few who predicted what we now call the Great Recession and was called a Cassandra by many at the time. But, like Cassandra, he was right."
—Nouriel Roubini, Cofounder and Chairman, Roubini Global Economics

“William Rhodes’ book is an important and interesting one, and something that those who want to understand the past and present better would do well to read. A highly talented banker and wise statesman, Rhodes’ book is essential reading as a history, business, and life lesson.”
–Forbes.com

"[S]hould be required reading not only for other bankers, but also for Washington’s would-be reformers of Wall Street, but most of all for the ordinary lay citizens dismayed by the persisting panic. . . .”.”
–American Spectator

“An absorbing read.”
—Foreign Affairs

“It should be required reading not only for other bankers, but also for Washington’s would-be reformers of Wall Street, but most of all for the ordinary lay citizens dismayed by the persisting panic…”
—American Spectator

“Anyone interested in learning what lessons the emerging markets restructurings might hold for Europe should read William Rhodes' book Banker to the World.”
—John Dizard, Financial Times

“It’s hard to quibble with what Bill Rhodes has accomplished. That much is obvious from the veteran Citi banker’s career battling the world’s major financial crises. He reviews many of them in Banker to the World, a well-paced account of his 50 years in the business. He eschews a traditional memoir in favor of a more didactic approach: the book’s subtitle is ‘Leadership Lessons from the Front Lines of Global Finance.’”
—Antony Currie, Reuters/Breakingviews

“Veteran banker Bill Rhodes, who received The Banker’s lifetime achievement award in 2007, has just published a book called banker to the World: leadership lessons from the frontlines of global finance. As Mr. Rhodes was at the centre of countless debt workouts and restructurings in more than five decades at Citi, these are lessons that younger bankers should definitely learn.”
—The Banker

About the Book:

In more than five decades with Citi, William "Bill" Rhodes, the firm's former senior vice chairman and senior international officer, has worked with senior business leaders, statesmen, and strongmen and brokered immense financial deals while looking across the table at finance ministers . . . and up the barrels of guns trained on him. He has earned the cooperation of Fidel Castro over cigars and the admiration of Rupert Murdoch, who said of Rhodes, "By dogged hard work, Bill forms important and great relationships. Everyone knows Bill. Everyone trusts Bill."

From these and other experiences, Rhodes has learned a lifetime of lessons about managing amid crises--and, more important, how to lead prudently, decisively, and effectively to prevent crises from ever happening in the first place. In Banker to the World, Rhodes presents his collected wisdom, best-practices, analysis, and anecdotes in one essential volume on the creation of value through leadership--and on the importance of leading by one's values.

Dramatically illustrated by more than two dozen examples, Rhodes's principles offer an excellent foundation for leaders at all levels. Having honed his skills in high-level negotiations around the world--including those with the Sandinistas, heads of state, and corporate CEOs in situations ranging from the opening of post-apartheid South Africa and the defusing of the Latin American "debt bomb" to the forestalling of the nationalization of Citi assets in Venezuela—Rhodes dispenses invaluable advice, including:

  • Lead boldly and decisively: Know when to disregard caution for caution's sake--and always insist on a neutral negotiating atmosphere.
  • Anticipate problems by visualizing their impact: Get ahead of risk by taking a comprehensive view of potential obstacles.
  • Confront problems directly and proactively: When faced with a critical situation, going directly to its epicenter is what turns a crisis into an opportunity.

You may not be presented with challenges such as restructuring a nation’s multibillion-dollar debt or dealing with Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe. But in Banker to the World, Bill Rhodes gives takeaway lessons on leading with character, tact, and determination that any manager, executive, or government official will use again and again to evaluate challenges, anticipate responses, and be more decisive in navigating crises of any size.


Author comments

William R. (Bill) Rhodes is the retired senior vice chairman and senior international officer of Citigroup and Citibank. He is President and CEO, William R. Rhodes Global Advisors, LLC; senior advisor, Citi; and professor-at-large, Brown University. Bill gained a reputation for international financial diplomacy in the 1980s and 1990s as a result of his leadership in helping manage the external debt crises that involved developing nations and their creditors worldwide. He has since served as a trusted advisor to governments, financial officials, and corporations worldwide. He is a director of many for-profit and not-for-profit organizations and has received numerous decorations and honors from governments and institutions.





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