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Banker to the World: Leadership Lessons From the Front Lines of Global Finance Hardcover – April 4, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (April 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071704256
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071704250
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #746,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Carlos N. Guimaraes on August 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The book is an accurate description of facts as they happened in the world of international finance over the past decades, the tensions involved and the lessons learned. Many of these lessons are extremely applicable today, especially within the European context. It is easy to read and for those who are interested in global financial issues and the key leaders behind the crucial decisions, it is a must read. Bill was at the center of these events and his common sense proved fundamental in many of these situations, as recognized by numerous global leaders.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael on August 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Really GREAT. A front row seat to every major financial crisis, sitting next to the man who lead the negotiations. The lessons learned are invaluable. Bill
Rhodes is a living legend in the world of global finance. An important, enjoyable - MUST READ -especially if you want to understand what is going on in the Eurozone today"
David X Martin
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lewis Green on September 13, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Two and a half years ago, Bill Rhodes warned the Europeans of an impending euro sovereign debt crisis. The Europeans scoffed and said that could only happen in the emerging markets - not in Europe! Fast-forward, here we are in a disastrous and far-reaching eurozone debt crisis. Bill Rhodes' "Banker to the World" is a fascinating account by a seasoned "Mr. Fix-It" - and we all can learn from his vast experience of re-structuring sovereigns. The anecdotes and behind-the-scenes accounts from a formidable expert are fascinating. Rhodes' fans include Paul Volcker (who wrote the Foreward), Henry Kissinger ("A Must Read at All Levels of Finance") and Martin Feldstein - and me, as well. A great read - with both history, and lessons, to be learned - all applicable now - in Europe!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mike de Graffenried on August 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
William Rhodes' Banker to the World: Leadership Lessons from the Front Lines of Global Finance distills a lifetime spent on the frontlines of the efforts that go on even to today to put sovereign finance on a balanced and sustainable basis. Full disclosure: I worked closely with Bill on a number of the situations discussed in this book. Having that perspective, however, only to served to convince me that he has captured important, enduring prescriptives for those who must confront large complicated financial failures, but also that can be helpful in other types of crises.

The book is organized around eight different generalized "lessons" each of which is explored through the lens of aspects of the sovereign debt crises that plagued the emerging markets during the `80's and `90's. Most of the specific crises discussed are placed in their larger historical contexts with thumbnail sketches such as Argentine 20th Century financial and Venezuela's founding role in OPEC. Interspersed are examples of how some of these lessons were learned or applied in other circumstances confronted by Bill as a senior executive of Citibank.

Most of the lessons can be best described as approaches that work best for getting to a desired outcome in negotiations to end a crisis or converting an opportunity in the international sphere. My own favorites include the need to understand the history and culture of your negotiating counterpart, the importance of seizing the moment rather than temporizing, and the importance of standing up for what is right despite intimidation. Perhaps the most important lessons of all are the need for vision and bold leadership to confront and overcome financial crisis. Unfortunately, these traits seem sadly lacking in European leadership today.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steve Timewell on August 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Bill Rhodes's Banker to the World: Leadership Lessons from the Front Lines of Global Finance is a must-read for those who want to genuinely understand how the recent global financial crisis emerged and what are the genuine qualities needed for successful global bank leadership. Bill Rhodes played a pivotal personal role in the financial crises of the 1980s and 1990s such as as the Latin American Debt Crisis and many others. The key to his success then and it remains today is his extraordinary networking ability, his extensive relationships and the trust he had engendered throughout his career. Unlike many of today's bankers who are focused only on their bonuses and what they can get Bill Rhodes epitomises traditional long-term banking values built around trust and relationships. In this book he demonstrates the real value bankers can achieve through building trust and relationships and not the greed culture of reecent years. For those who want to believe in what bankers can achieve Bill's book is a must, the only hope is that the the new generation of bankers apply Bill's traditional values and approach, he is a model banker at a time when the important role of banking has been seriously subverted.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rick on August 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
While there have been numerous books written on both past and recent financial crises, none seem to capture the front line experience the way Bill Rhodes does in his book Banker to the World.

What makes this book particularly unique is the authors ability to not only recall his very real and personal involvement in a wide array of major historic global financial crises, but more importantly his ability to succinctly reflect on them and provide the reader practical leadership lessons that can be easily applied to modern day challenges, both big and small. As a result, this book lends itself to academia, as well as seasoned financial professionals. It would also be hoped, that those who actually make policy would take the time to read this book.

The plethora of valuable information means this book deserves a spot in your personal library, as it will certainly stand the test of time since it draws upon decades and decades of source material written by one of the best minds of our time on the subject of financial crises.
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