Lessons from a 220-year-old financial player

Like other industries, banks can often benefit in the present by learning lessons from the past.

Financial commentator Zachary Karabell joins us to discuss “Inside Money: Brown Brothers Harriman and the American Way of Power,” his new book on one of the nation’s oldest financial firms, and why its story matters for banks today and in the future.

A few takeaways from our conversation:

  • While the Brown Brothers Harriman name is in the title, the book is really about how money made the United States, and how in turn Americans helped build the global financial system.
  • Stakeholders, not just shareholders, are the focus as banks work to develop stronger connections to their communities and to make up for past shortcomings.
  • The future for many financial institutions will be as either a low-fee, high-volume enterprise, or a niche player with a value prop that allows them to charge a little more.

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Terry Badger is the managing editor at BAI.

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