The Bankers: The Next Generation

The Bankers: The Next Generation

by Martin Mayer
     
 
Twenty-two years ago, Martin Mayer's original and bestselling The Bankers took readers into every corner of the banking industry. Since then, everything to do with money and banking has changed dramatically. Computer-driven data processing has led to new kinds of financial instruments, new opportunities for profit and loss, new relations between banks and

Overview

Twenty-two years ago, Martin Mayer's original and bestselling The Bankers took readers into every corner of the banking industry. Since then, everything to do with money and banking has changed dramatically. Computer-driven data processing has led to new kinds of financial instruments, new opportunities for profit and loss, new relations between banks and their customers, and new affiliation between government and banks. Businessmen and householders need a new road map to banks' new abilities, challenges, and pitfalls. Mayer's completely new, completely rewritten 1997 edition on banking's immensely changed world answers that need. Among the many subjects explored in this timely book are:

  • The extremely fluid nature of money in an electronic age
  • The changing economic role of banks and other financial service institutions
  • The perilous voyages of today's banks on seas of computerized trading
  • The two-trillion-dollar-a-day flow of wholesale payments
  • The explosive growth and use of credit cards and ATM machines
  • The rapidly arriving world of "smart cards" and "internet banking."
Mayer shows the reader where the trends lead-and what the industry itself and its regulators can to do pluck the plums of progress from the messy confusion of great change itself. Accessible to any reader yet specific enough to capture the attention of the world's business professionals, The Bankers: The NextGeneration, explains the banking revolution of our time. This is every business reader's must-read book of the 1990s.
  • Martin Mayer is the most widely recognized name in banking and finance.
  • The Bankers hardcover edition hit the bestseller lists of Business Week and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Twenty-two years after his bestseller, The Bankers, Mayer returns with another kaleidoscopic look at the world of banking. While much is interesting here, the zigzag narrative can be tough to follow and seem oddly chatty. First, Mayer discusses the nature of money, the rise of checking-and perhaps its demise, because Europeans pay most of their bills through a central agency such as the post office-the emergence of credit cards and the potential for cash-value "smart cards." Then he reaches back to chart the history of banks and their civic role, the recent wave of bank mergers and banks' dicey ventures into computer-based trading, devoting a chapter to the demise of the British bank Barings. Next he examines the role of government, focusing on the S&L fiasco, in which banks were free to make bad loans while deposits were insured. Finally, Mayer looks at the future, where he sees traditional banks cutting jobs as they consolidate, relying on computers and plastic, and an increasing number of nonbanks (brokerage houses, etc.) performing banking duties. He suggests reforms to aid the poor, who are now shunned by banks, and predicts that new finance companies will take over some of banks' traditional lending roles; yet he does not offer specific proposals for regulation of banks' investment practices. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Mayer, a noted financial journalist, revisits the banking industry, which he covered over 20 years ago in a seminal book that was also called The Bankers (LJ 2/1/75). The world has changed since then, and Mayer acknowledges that the role of banks has likewise altered. Now banks offer myriad nonbanking services ranging from insurance to mutual funds. Technology has dramatically affected banks, so much so that Mayer questions why we even need them, when an automated teller machine (ATM) can dispense cash and even loans, and a computer allows for transactions in cybercash over the Internet. Still, Mayer cogently argues for the need for banks and their role as an intermediary that can help Americans with simple or complex financial transactions as we enter the 21st century. Mayer's useful, carefully researched guide is recommended for large business or financial collections.-Richard S. Drezen, Washington Post News Research Ctr., Washington, D.C.
Kirkus Reviews
Much has happened to America's depository institutions in the more than two decades since Mayer wrote The Bankers, and his elegant update provides an informed guide to the convulsive change that has brought a remote, buttoned-down profession into the rowdy, high-tech world of financial services.

Before assessing the past, present, and future of banking, the author assesses the nature of money, a demanding task that nonetheless permits him to examine the role commercial banks play in the way debts were, are, and could be paid. Moving on to ATMs, so-called smart cards, and the Internet's boundless potential, he documents why even multinational banks have good reason to fear problem-solving enterprises like Microsoft that have been poaching on their hitherto protected precincts. Mayer next evaluates the decline of bank lending, a drop that occurred despite mergers which have created regional and national powerhouses. He also offers an astute appreciation of the concurrent trend to gamble in futures trading, a high-stakes zero-sum game in which risky derivative instruments are trumps. Having reviewed the sudden death of the UK's venerable Barings Bank (to date, the highest profile casualty of casino capitalism), the author casts a cold eye on the S&L disaster in America. From this sore subject, he segues gracefully into a detailed appraisal of the many agencies that regulate the domestic banking industry in one way or another. In a concluding chapter, Mayer ventures provocative opinions on the successful efforts of the Federal Reserve System (which has a vested interest in sorting checks) to stymie private-sector rivals eager to establish a utility-like clearinghouse system that would offer universal access (at reasonable rates) to individuals and entities needing to transfer money in or out of the country.

Engrossing and perceptive perspectives on developments that could signal the twilight of traditional over-the-counter banking.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525938651
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/28/1997
Pages:
468
Product dimensions:
6.37(w) x 9.33(h) x 1.61(d)

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