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The Legacy of Walter Wriston

Thursday June 2008

Introduction: Lawrence Mone, President, Manhattan Institute
Opening Remarks: William R. Rhodes Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer, Citibank & Citicorp Holdings Inc.; Senior Vice Chairman, Citi
Panelists: Stephen W. Bosworth, Dean, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, George Gilder, Chairman, Gilder Publishing, LLC; Chairman, Gilder Fund Management, LLC; Host, Gilder Telecosm Forum
Moderator: Steven Malanga, Senior Editor, City Journal Columnist,

The late Walter Wriston, a longtime friend, mentor, and trustee of the Manhattan Institute, was a leader of vision and courage, and a man of extraordinary kindness and dignity. During his nearly four decades of service at Citicorp, he revolutionized the international banking system—introducing the first certificate of deposit and automated teller machine—and helped to expand access to information technology worldwide. The Wall Street Journal called him one of the “architects” of the modern American economy, and President Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004.

In his final book, Bits, Bytes and Balance Sheets, published posthumously by Hoover Press, Wriston continued to explore the implications of the information revolution for business, addressing, among other topics, balance sheet disclosures—currently a pressing issue on Wall Street. Wriston also described how expanded access to information will spread freedom around the world—themes he first developed in The Twilight of Sovereignty: How the Information Revolution Is Transforming Our World. Advances in information technology, Wriston wrote, were changing daily life and altering our understanding of the nation-state. He foresaw a global information age in which a new democratic order would dramatically transform public and private institutions.

Tufts University’s Digital Collections and Archives is the steward of the Walter Wriston Collection, features/wriston/index.html. Mr. Wriston was an alumnus of Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy