Walter Wriston

R.A. Hettinga rah at
Mon Jan 24 18:02:50 PST 2005


The Wall Street Journal

      January 24, 2005


Walter Wriston
January 24, 2005; Page A18

One great underlying strength of the modern American economy is its
innovative and competitive financial system, and one of its architects was
Walter Wriston, who died last week at age 85.

As an executive with First National City Bank, and later chairman of
Citicorp, he helped to create products and services that millions of
Americans now take for granted, such as the certificate of deposit and the
automated teller machine. Under his leadership, Citicorp became the largest
American bank and one of the most profitable in the world, with a global
customer base that continues to grow today.

We always thought it a shame he was never Treasury Secretary, though his
intellectual influence was greater than that of most who did serve in that
post. After his retirement from Citicorp in 1984, he wrote widely and
presciently about the way technology was transforming our age. His 1992
book, "The Twilight of Sovereignty: How the Information Revolution is
Transforming Our World," was ahead of its time. He was a major supporter of
the Manhattan Institute and other think-tanks that promoted free market

Raised in modest Midwest circumstances, Mr. Wriston was the kind of
creative and public-spirited capitalist that America is so fortunate to
produce and remains one of the secrets of our prosperity.

R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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