The First Centennial of Citibank

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The First Centennial of Citibank As Citibank’s former chairman, Walter B. Wriston, a wordly known expert on commercial banking said: History is the story of people, the organizations they create, and how those institutions cope with the constantly changing challenges of society. All of America’s institutions were newly minted in the aftermath of its revolution against the most powerful nation in the world. The founding fathers broke with the current economic dogma and turned away from the mercantilist system that was so pervasive in Europe, opting instead for a market-oriented economy. Such an open economy requires financial institutions that can grow and adapt to the requirements of a dynamic country. (Cleveland and Huertas, vii) Citibank is one of those financial institutions that fulfills the financial needs and wants of the entire nation; it has been doing this since its foundation. Adapting to the challenges of society, this bank is one of the few private institutions that exists and successfully survives since 1812. According to Alfred Chandler, “The history of Citibank is a landmark in the writings of business history” (Cleveland and Huertas, v). Citibank was founded as a mercantile bank in 1812; in 1836 it was the tenth largest commercial bank in New York. Later on, it became the largest bank in the nation by 1890, and by 1920 it was one of the most influential commercial and investment banks that would later diversify into a wide variety of financial services and activities. Ever since its foundation, Citibank remained at the top of the financial services industry. The bank that has been involved with most of the major events in the history of the United States was initially known as the City Bank of New York. By June 16 of 1812, this financial institution was founded where today the financial heart of the world is located. With an authorized

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