The World According to Walter

Wriston, Walter B.


Editor's Introduction

Editor's Introduction


Behind every deed there is usually an assumption, theory, or conviction about how the world works, how people think and behave, how institutions function. To act on it doesn't require that you're aware of its being inside your head. In this collection of assertions, conclusions, observations, arguments, beliefs, maxims, and aphorisms taken from his forthcoming book, Walter Wriston, retired chief executive of Citicorp, reveals some things that have been inside his head a long time, as he regularly did in speeches and other public appearances during his year's as head of the world's biggest banking organization.

They were tumultuous years, during which Mr. Wriston left a profound personal stamp, not only on Citicorp but also on American financial institutions in general, on international economic relationships, on ways of running a gigantic global corporation, and on the relationship between business and government. His voice was heard often and everywhere. His will prevailed often, though not always right away.

In Risk and Other Four-Letter Words (to be published in February by Harper and Row), Mr. Wriston develops, amplifies, and argues the following short takes more fully than presented here, often with detailed references to particular situations and conditions, but always with a strong conviction that strips away complexity, leaving his vision of the bare, understandable, and governing essentials.