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John Taft comes from a distinguished political family well known for its commitment to integrity. In Stewardship: Lessons Learned from the Lost Culture of Wall Street, John Taft builds on that legacy and presents an intelligent, thoughtful argument for the importance of establishing service to others as the key to saving ourselves from the ongoing financial crisis, and creating a more stable and more compassionate financial system.
When the financial crisis hit in 2008, Taft was on the front lines with investors and employees, and experienced their extreme turmoil. Driven by a conviction that purposefulness, accountability, humility, integrity, and foresight are our duty, and that making the world a better place is our calling, he outlines in this book his belief in stewardship's core principles. These principles are the answer not only for minimizing the scale and impact of future financial crises, but also for addressing the major societal challenges facing us today.
Wide-ranging in its coverage, the book looks at the ways in which a lack of stewardship contributed to the financial crisis, how to strengthen banking regulation, and much more. Including an in-depth analysis of the ways in which Canadian banks responded to the crisis with integrity and established themselves as models of fiscal responsibility, it looks to the future with optimism. To illustrate his arguments, Taft employs engaging end-of-chapter vignettes that show his ideas in action. Extensive appendices on EU financial reform, the Basel III Accord, and thoughts on creating a more compassionate future augment the text to create a fascinating guide to a better future.
Born out of Taft's participation in legislative and regulatory efforts to rewrite the rules under which the U.S. securities industry will operate for decades to come, the book offers a unique response to the challenges of the financial crisis. It looks at the way in which a lack of integrity contributed to the Great Recession. It also shows how a renewed commitment to helping others has implications for the future of the financial services industry, the prevention of future crises, the protection of the environment, and much more. Stewardship is a compelling read with far-reaching implications.
Praise For Stewardship
"This is a powerful and moving book that deserves to be widely read.The idea of stewardship captures powerfully what is needed today.I just hope the financial industry listens."
—Gillian Tett, U.S. Managing Editor, Financial Times, and author, Fool's Gold
"When I was asked by a good friend to read John Taft's manuscript with the possibility of providing a comment about it, I groaned at the prospect of reading another dreary, self-justificatory treatise. I could not have been more wrong. Mr. Taft draws on his considerable experience in the financial industry to produce an essay that is thoughtful, constructive, and, in a word I rarely get to use in the context of the financial crisis, inspiring. I am glad to recommend it."
—Barney Frank, Congressman (D-MA)
"John Taft demystifies the complex inner workings of the financial services industry. He provides a simple, but elegant, approach to restoring trust and confidence in the U.S. financial services markets."
—Ron James, President and CEO, Center for Ethical Business Cultures
"Like his father and grandfather and great grandfather before him, John is another Taft who understands we are all stewards and with that comes responsibility. Stewardship is not just a book for Wall Street. It's a book for you and me."
—Doug Lennick, coauthor, Moral Intelligence
"Timely, well-argued, deeply humane. Taft is the sort of leader financeneeds as it emerges from the crisis."
—Matthew Bishop, New York Bureau Chief, The Economist and coauthor, The Road from Ruin