BIOGRAPHY OF A BANK by Marquis & Bessie Rowland James


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The lives of the Bank of America and of A. P. Giannini, the man who was the power behind its growth, from its San Francisco sidewalks beginnings, are the matrix of a study that adds still another segment to the network of our economy- as it has been described by James. Here, from scratch, are the seedlings, first roots, trunk and many many branches of the organization that came to be the world's biggest banking operation. An immigrant's son, Giannini was born in California, and it was not long before his business sense began to manifest itself in San Francisco's Italian section. With a sense of the common man's needs and sound financial policy that lasted him all his life, it was Giannini who started towards success after the earthquake disaster of 1906 by providing small but steady banking facilities for those around him. The Bank of Italy, as it was known until 19 grew and grew. Expansion southward, to Los Angeles and eventually all of California, brought it growing notice and with it, the building up of local agriculture and commerce. Relentlessly but honestly, Giannini fought old methods, and other bankers, in a trail of struggles that led him to Washington and Wall Street- in amalgamation as well as dissension, and culminated in a grand outdistancing of his opponents. Exhaustive in its analysis of the aspects and attributes of the monolith of money and the men who made its many faces- this is food for the economist as well as a prestige volume on one of our financial ""greats"".

Pub Date: April 14th, 1954
Publisher: Harper