ABA Banking Journal - March 2009 - (Page 12)
Community Banking A SPECIAL “PASS THE ASPIRIN” REPORT Books bankers live by Bankers draw on books of war, books of peace, books of people, and books of business for ideas and inspiration I n 2008, William Grant joined the board of directors of the Baltimore branch of the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank. Not having an extensive background in economics, he looked for a book to help him understand the role of the Fed. What he found was Robert L. Hetzel’s The Monetary Policy of the Federal Reserve: A History (Cambridge University Press, 2008). In his book, Dr. Hetzel—a senior economist and research advisor at the Richmond Fed—clarified much that Grant hadn’t understood. “With this background, I have been much better equipped to understand the actions of the Federal Reserve in 2008, and to have an appreciation for their workings in a very difficult and politically charged environment,” says Grant. “Dr. Hetzel’s book serves well the old maxim that ‘those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it’.” Bankers go many places in search of answers, and for some the solutions lie in the written word. Grant, chairman and CEO, $1.6 billion-assets First United Bank & Trust, Oakland, Md., was one of the 22 bankers who answered our third annual call for those books that they have found most helpful to read in the last year or so. The variety of books cited was impressive—indeed, only two pairs of bankers cited the same works. One of these “doubles” is the Bible, treated separately in this report. The reviews appearing here are only a sampling. All are excerpts in order to give a sense of the variety of the total response in the space available. For the full set of reviews, in their entirety, see “The Books Bankers Live By” at www.ababj.com. There you can also find out who won the Amazon Kindle provided as an entry drawing by m.rae resources, inc., Bethlehem, Pa. —Steve Cocheo, executive editor of Free!” that would be a good read for banks thinking about giving any of their services away. Hidden Forces Tim Procita, president, MVB Bank-East, Martinsburg, W.Va., $245.9 million. I read Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions, by Dan Ariely (HarperCollins, 2008). I love books that combine psychology with business principles. I believe a successful banker needs to be good at sales. To be good at sales, you need to understand the psychology of the human mind. This book presents interesting, and some- times humorous, examples of experiments that show how humans behave. One chapter that helped our bank was called “The Fallacy of Supply and Demand.” The premise is that people really do not know what something is worth, but rather compare it to other things to determine a value. At our bank, we marketed a new product alongside other things people knew cost $100. When we then asked $100 for our new product, the mind was led to believe that must be the correct price. There is also a chapter called “The Cost Broken Trust Kim Fowler, vice-president and manager, trust compliance, Carolina First Bank, Greenville, S.C., $13.7 billion. Broken Trust: Greed, Mismanagement, and Political Manipulation at America’s Largest Charitable Trust by Samuel P. King and Randall W. Roth (University of Hawaii Press, 2006) is a fascinating book 12 MARCH 2009/ABA BANKING JOURNAL Subscribe at www.ababj.com
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