Wednesday, July 10, 2013

John J. Raskob: A CFO for the Roaring '20s

My book post on s+b's blog this week covers the first biography of the most influential CFO in the U.S. a century ago.

Resurrecting a Forgotten Capitalist 
In June 2013, echoes of the Roaring 20s were everywhere in Manhattan. The Great Gatsby was in movie theaters, and the film’s marketing partners—the Plaza Hotel, Brooks Brothers, and Tiffany among them—were playing up their Gatsby connections and collections. Oxford University Press got into the act, too, with the timely release of Temple University history professor David Farber’s seminal biography, Everybody Ought to Be Rich: The Life and Times of John J. Raskob, Capitalist. 
Raskob is relatively unremembered today, but he shouldn’t be: He is as much an icon of that high-flying decade as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s glamorous and doomed protagonist, Jay Gatsby. Raskob was America’s leading CFO (“treasurer” in those days). Reportedly able to size up complex financials at a glance, Raskob was instrumental in the growth of two industrial giants: DuPont and General the rest here

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