Hear from the man at the helm of one of banking's biggest powerhouses at a time of industry uncertainty. John Stumpf became chairman of Wells Fargo & Company in January. He was named CEO in June 2007, elected to Wells Fargo's board of directors in June 2006, and has been president since August 2005.
A 27-year veteran of Wells Fargo, Stumpf provides insight into where financial services are headed in the short and long term, and what you need to know to protect yourself and stay informed.
Mary Cranston is Senior Partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. She is the Immediate Past Chair of the Commonwealth Club Board of Governors.
John G. Stumpf
John Stumpf became Chairman for Wells Fargo & Company in January 2010. He was named Chief Executive Officer in June 2007, elected to Wells Fargo's Board of Directors in June 2006, and has been President since August 2005.
A 28-year veteran of the company, he joined the former Norwest Corporation (predecessor of Wells Fargo) in 1982 in the loan administration department and then became senior vice president and chief credit officer for Norwest Bank, N.A., Minneapolis. He held a number of management positions at Norwest Bank Minneapolis and Norwest Bank Minnesota before assuming responsibility for Norwest Bank Arizona in 1989. He was named regional president for Norwest Banks in Colorado/Arizona in 1991. From 1994 to 1998, he was regional president for Norwest Bank Texas. During his four years in that position, he led Norwest's acquisition of 30 Texas banks with total assets of more than $13 billion.
In 1998, with the merger of Norwest Corporation and Wells Fargo & Company, he became head of the Southwestern Banking Group (Arizona, New Mexico and Texas). Two years later he became head of the new Western Banking Group (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming). In 2000, he led the integration of Wells Fargo's acquisition of the $23 billion First Security Corporation, based in Salt Lake City. In May 2002, he was named Group EVP of Community Banking. In December 2008, he led one of the largest mergers in history with the purchase of Wachovia.
He serves on the Board of Directors for The Clearing House, the Financial Services Roundtable, Target Corporation and Chevron Corporation. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
A Minnesota native, he earned his bachelor's degree in finance from St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota and his MBA with an emphasis in finance from the University of Minnesota.
Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf answers a question he is frequently asked: "Why aren't you bankers making loans anymore?" "The biggest challenge we have today," he explains, "is finding people we want to lend money to."
Leading U.S. banking and financial services company formerly involved in express transport. Founded in 1852, Wells, Fargo transported gold between the west and east coasts in the wake of the California gold rush. By 1866 it had gained control of almost all stagecoach business in the West. In 1905 its banking operations were separated from its express operations. The express carrier disappeared by the mid 1920s, its domestic business taken over by the firm later known as the Railway Express Agency and its foreign express business by American Express Co. Its security services still exist under the name Wells Fargo Armored Service Corp., a subsidiary of Baker Industries. The Wells Fargo Bank's holding company, Wells Fargo & Co., was established in 1968. Headquartered in San Francisco, the bank has subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide. In 1998 Wells Fargo & Co. merged with Norwest Corp.
To take on your challenge about giving one example of democracy in capitalism:
One of the pillars of capitalism, 'Entrepreneurship' is democratic. Day laborers who used to pick grapes on vineyards in Napa Valley now own some of those very vineyards.
And please explain what you mean 'poverty is legislated'? I want to understand what you are talking about. The reference is murky.
America is not now nor has it ever been a democracy. It is a capitalist oligarchy founded on the voting power of white, male property owners. The capitalism of the day relied on the cheap labor from competition with slavery.
Since the abolishment of slavery the capitalist oligarchy has legislated wages of poverty, which is the legislation of poverty itself. Legislated poverty is certainly not democratic.
CHALLENGE: name one structure of capitalism which is democratic.
Voting in America is an act from Circus Maximus . Notice how American "leadership" bows to corporate power, be it too big to fail or wasteful of America's natural assets while destroying America's environment.
Those too big to fail were rewarded with bonuses from the taxpaying average (median wage) Americans. The stockholders of BP have not voluntarily appeared and cleaned up their mess as a way to protect their investment. The Queen's tiara might fall in the sludge, ya know. Stock ownership is so much neater and legally defensible than colonies. Shift a few assets and declare bankruptcy.
One if by land, two if by sea and the middle digit if by corporate structure.
Mr. Stumpf is a terrific ambassador for banks. His bank is as solid his northern Minnesota background.
He answered questions as honestly as he promised. He did not make as compelling an argument for executive pay as he could have, however.
People's productivity varies enormously. If people who can make bigger contributions cannot make bigger paychecks, they won't make those bigger contributions.
In the absence of undue influence over one's board (which CEOs often possess and exert), boards and stockholders should be the sole determiners of pay.
Re questions on executive compensation:
Compensation and the Social Network
Re the Greenspan/Rubin de-regulation paradigm:
Ayn Rand & Alan Greenspan: The Altruism Fly in the Objectivist Ointment
Re the relationship of currencies, wealth concentration and the social contract:
Decision Technologies: Currencies and the Social Contract
Re problems in scaled social organisms and its relationship to the Drake Equation:
The Problem in Scaling Altruism: Where's the Intelligent Life?
One of the central problems with mega-banks is a lack of ' granularity of decision '... The foreclosures on millions of homes without any meaningful due process will be an additional aggravating factor for the already frayed social contract upon which legitimate government depends. Unfortunately most don't have friends in high places.
There's been an absence of creativity regarding solutions for a social catastrophe that cannot be addressed with a one-size-fits-all, steamroller approach.
There's been NO technological approaches to finding better outcomes on a more individual basis... For the bank's good... as well as the underwater or defaulting homeowner.
Only technologies and political assists to make the banking steamroller run more smoothly...
Law, Government and Money itself are technologies.
As for addressing imbalances in influence and how that affects decision...
There are new opportunities presented by the Web. My own endeavor finds leverage because of the peer-to-peer capability concurrent with the Account*
*The Individually-controlled/Commons-dedicated Account:
A Self-supporting , Commons-owned neutral platform for both political and charitable monetary contribution... which for fundamental reasons of scale must allow a viable micro-transaction (think x-box points for action in the Commons). The resultant network catalyzes additional functionality for co-ordination of other 'social energy' utilization. (If desired, It's also the most neutral and ultimately politically viable method for the public finance of elections.)
This concept arose out of the investigation of issues in addressing reciprocal obligations in scaled social networks and the interplay with biological altruism (especially its limits and actual operational effects), Dunbar's number (a hypothetical natural human community size), proximity and... issues in technologies of interaction that come with that scale and complexity. I believe these ideas can lead to additional solutions in other fields of social interaction.
Enable Networked Citizen Lobbying! A fundamental of speech and association. If the Founders had the technology, this right would have been guaranteed in the Constitution.
A Public Interest Entrepreneur... looking to have a chance to present this concept to Commons-oriented investors.
A big thanks to the P2P Foundation for their upcoming reprint of my old post:
On Creating Communities
And request for 3-Part series on the Commons-dedicated Account...
Empowering the Commons: The Dedicated Account (Part I)
Personal Democracy: Disruption as an Enlightenment Essential
I look forward to our future relations.
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