Northern Trust today announced its first global Charity Trading Day, benefiting global housing nonprofit Habitat for Humanity International, as part of the company’s global philanthropy strategy.
The company will donate $826,000 to Habitat. In addition, Northern Trust employees and clients will volunteer through a company program in 2023 to support the nonprofit’s mission. The global effort, led by Northern Trust Capital Markets, aligns with Northern Trust’s commitment to create more equitable opportunities to achieve long-term financial success.
Habitat, which partners with families and individuals to build or improve their homes, has been supported by Northern Trust philanthropy and volunteering efforts for more than three decades.
“Our philanthropic focus at Northern Trust covers four key pillars: education, food, healthcare and housing,” Northern Trust Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Grady said. “For our inaugural Charity Trading Day, we are grateful for the opportunity to expand our relationship with Habitat and make a substantial contribution so that more people can have a safe, welcoming and affordable place to call home.”
“Decent and affordable housing provides a solid foundation for families,” said Julie Laird Davis, vice president of corporate and cause marketing partnerships at Habitat for Humanity International. “We are grateful to be the beneficiary of Northern Trust’s inaugural Charity Trading Day. With their support, we will be able to help even more families achieve strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter and create stronger and more resilient communities around the world.”
Northern Trust Charity Trading Day involved Northern Trust Capital Markets trading desks across the globe, following the sun from Sydney through to Singapore, London and Chicago. The global effort involved the entire Capital Markets team, from trading and operations to risk and compliance, with the contribution to Habitat based upon the day’s trading revenues.
The Drucker Institute named Northern Trust among its top 10 in customer satisfaction, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
Banking And Walter Bagehot — Smart Lessons From A Leading Victorian
Bagehot — The Life and Times of the Greatest Victorian. By James Grant. 334 pages. $29.95
What a match-up: James Grant, financial journalist and in modern terminology a public intellectual, writing on Walter Bagehot, who might qualify for that nomenclature today but was “just” a banker, editor of The Economist, and advisor to some of the leading statesmen of 19th century England.
Grant is suitably impressed by Bagehot’s stunning productivity — 5,000 words a week for The Economist, plus essays on luminaries ranging from Gibbon to Shelby. However, Bagehot might not get awards for work/life balance. In Bagehot’s writing after the Panic of 1857, Grant cites a longish passage and notes that ”Few better observations of the cycle of bankerly feast and famine have ever been written.” But, he adds, this was in a love letter.
The 19th century was a period of great change and a shift of power from the landed aristocracy to the merchant and industrial classes. Bagehot wrote about the reform of 1832 where some in Parliament actually voted to eliminate the infamous pocket boroughs, even at the price of putting themselves out of office. The reforms were overdue — cities like Manchester and Birmingham with growing populations didn’t have any representation. But the reforms had another consequence…those boroughs were sometimes home to a class of elevated statesman who were spared the ordeal of having to face the voters and at least a few contributed wisdom to the debates of the day, Bagehot wrote. The reform destroyed some intellectual constituencies.
The radical Irish journalist E.D.J. Wilson wrote in his obit of Bagehot: “His friends used to say of him, and there was a little exaggeration in the saying, that for a dozen years at least he was an unofficial member of every Cabinet, Conservative as well as Liberal, which has governed these kingdoms. Successive Chancellors of the Exchequer and Secretaries of the Treasury called him into their counsels as a matter of course. And the most illustrious of the statesman who thus consulted a journalist without a place in Parliament or any strength of party connection, would be the first to acknowledge how much they owed to the ‘white light’ of his pure and clear intelligence.”
Ironic then the Bagehot’s Stuckey’s bank sold to what eventually became part of National Westminster Bank, which was acquired by The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) which failed — at a cost to taxpayers of approximately £45.5 billion.
Grant notes the Bagehot’s world was one of institutionalized discipline while today’s world — one of paper currencies, floating exchange rates, enormous budget deficits and government policies to protect both investors and depositors against the consequences of banks’ mismanagement — is largely one of institutionalized indiscipline.
In financial journalism, “Bagehot was a superior commentator, thought a middling seer — for every financial writer must squint into the future… HIs attitude was perhaps too cautionary in the short term, and much too complacent for the long term. He worried too much about the single gold reserve and not enough about the distant adverse consequences of government control in banking and credit.”
Grant draws some broad historical comparisons:
“The interplay between money and credit was the source of the recurrent cycles of boom and bust that bedeviled the nineteenth century and continues to plague and mystify the 21st.”
And in some cases Grant makes his commentary just by direct quotation:
“In all customary societies, bigotry is the ruling principle. In rude places to this day, anyone who says anything new is looked on with suspicion…one of the the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.”