by I have known the author, Craig Columbus, since 2009. He is President and Chief Market Strategist of First Allied Asset Management, Inc. I’m an affiliated independent financial advisor with First Allied Securities and frequently have the luxury of listening to Craig’s insightful keynotes at the various First Allied conferences I attend.
It’s rare in this industry to listen to someone speak who immediately exudes “trust.” It’s even more rare to write a financial book with the word “God” in the title.
Yet that’s what Craig Columbus, along with his co writer Mark Hendrickson, have done.
God & Man On Wall Street is a book about faith. As the introduction states:
–faith that what you’ve been told is true
-faith that your property rights are secure
-faith that something really is what a seller tells you it is
-faith that promises contracts will be honored and, if necessary, enforced
-faith that you can buy, sell or take delivery of your assets from a custodian when you want to
-faith that prices are being reported accurately
-faith that risk ratings are accurate and financial professionals will honestly explain the risks
involved in various investments
-faith that a transaction will ultimately settle between the correct parties
That’s a lot of faith, even to a person of faith. I joined First Allied at the bottom of the Market, in March 2009. Of course, at the time I didn’t know we hit the bottom. I only knew that my clients and my team were pretty worn out from the 2008 financial crisis. As Craig says, he was disillusioned, disheartened, and appalled at the greed, and dismayed by the arrogance.
Craig was not talking about an abstract bunch of Wall Street stock traders. He was talking about his own colleagues. For 15 years Craig has been analyzing financial markets along with some of the same players who committed moral, ethical and illegal acts. Many of whom were Asset Managers in the same industry as Craig. So, God & Money On Wall Street is not an academic book. This is a book written from an insider, with an insider’s perspective!
And what are the key take-aways?
Most financial professions played by the rules and were (and still are) deeply committed stewards. Despite what the media and politicians were saying.
- Even though the eye of the financial crisis was esoteric mortgage products, everyone was in the path of the financial hurricane.
- Additional regulations, alone, would not be sufficient. Both market forces and ethical solutions would also be required.
- Unfortunately, very little has changed among the financial elites. Too-big-to-fail institutions and unconstrained credit creation by monetary authorities still dominate the landscape.
In the end, Craig and Mark did not wish to write a “who done it book.” They are much too kind.
Instead they use the book as a platform to discuss a larger spiritual calling to promote speaking the truth to our own community.
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – John 8:32.