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Books

Risk and Other Four-Letter Words
by Walter Wriston

Called "banking's recognized visionary leader" by the New York Times and one of the most admired businessmen of our time by the Wall Street Journal, Walter Wriston created the world's leading international banking institution and revolutionized the global banking environment as well in his 17 years as Chief Executive Officer of Citicorp. Now he has written his first book, a volume of beautifully crafted essays, which examine the impulses, events, and interests that have shaped a first-class mind.

In this fascinating and varied collection Wriston considers the ways in which the economy increasingly affects our day-to-day lives. He explains his views on such matters as how the economic world works, the history and current state of banking, the reason even most smart economists are wrong in their predictions, and why money is "just another form of information."

Ranging from discussions of Gresham's Law to Alice in Wonderland's logic, from Gertrude Stein's definition of money to Adam Smith's, these essays are both philosophical and practical. Few other books have explored the economics and governance of the "global attic" we all inhabit with so much grace, wit and intelligence.

"Witty, urbane, incisive--a beguiling blend of erudition and a lifetime's practical experience."
--Peter Drucker

"Walter Wriston built a very successful career on the philosophy which underlies the essays in this book: that the free competition of ideas produces not only better ideas, but better policy in both the public and private sectors. He also understands that a society's greatness is commensurate with its ability to take risk and, thus, to reward risk takers. In Wriston's case this is obviously a formula for a highly productive career and a most interesting book."
--Henry Kissinger

"A splendidly lucid and fascinating examination of some basic concepts that are embedded in--and at the same time threaten--today's global marketplace. Risk displays the same independence of thought, intellectual integrity, and foresighted vision that enabled Walter Wriston to be the most innovative banker of our time."
--Milton Friedman

"Walter Wriston is a rarity--an entertaining and intellectual banker. His sparkling essays amuse while instructing."
--George Will

"Walter Wriston is one of America's sharpest and most creative minds...Risk entertains, inspires, and stimulates; I heartily recommend it..."
--Congressman Jack Kemp

"Wriston brings a rare combination of conceptual insight and broad business experience to some of the most important policy issues of our day."
--Alan Greenspan


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