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On Money and Markets

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On Money and Markets

A Wall Street Memoir


15 min read
10 take-aways
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What's inside?

Heed the immortal words of Wall Street veteran Henry Kaufman: “Money matters, but credit matters more.”

Editorial Rating



  • Background
  • Eloquent
  • Engaging


Over the last decade we have seen many self-serving autobiographies and memoirs, but Henry Kaufman’s is certainly is not one of them. Kaufman is an investment banker, but he is also a scholar and a gentleman. These memoirs capture the mettle of the man from his start in the banking business, through his years at Salomon Brothers and eventually to his own consulting business. The period covered, from pre-world War II to the end of the 20th century, is the most dynamic time in the history of the financial markets. It is Kaufman’s insights into these revolutionary years on Wall Street that make this a gripping tale. recommends this book to all executives and investors, many of whom would benefit greatly from a refresher course in Wall Street history.


Henry Kaufman: In My Own Words

I was born in 1927 in a rural German village called Wenings. The entire village had only 1,200 people. Everyone in the village was engaged in farming or some business that supported farming. When I was 4 years old I was struck by polio. The disease left me with a weakened left leg. Even though I had surgery on my leg, it never fully regained full strength.

The next five years of my life were filled with pleasant memories, but the world was changing rapidly. By the time I was nine years old, the situation in Germany had turned against my family because of our religion. Other children would not play with me because I was Jewish and my father could not find work because of our religion. In 1936 we left Germany for good. Several months later we arrived in New York City. It would be 22 years before I would set foot on German soil again.

My family moved into a two-bedroom apartment in the East Bronx. Although the country was gearing up for war, the American economy was still suffering from the effects of the depression. It was hard on my father to make a living. What I remember from those days was the stoicism of my parents and the constant...

About the Author

Henry Kaufman, Ph.D. is president of Henry Kaufman & Company, Inc., a New York-based investment management and economic and financial consulting firm. For 26 years he was with Salomon Brothers Inc., where he rose to senior partner, member of the executive committee, vice chairman and head of the firm’s four research departments. Since the 1960s, Dr. Kaufman has spoken regularly to leading business and policy groups throughout the world and has published hundreds of articles in major business periodicals. He also holds numerous directorships, and is a major benefactor of education and cultural life in New York and Israel.

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