Bloomberg News reports that when William 'Billy' Salomon started on Wall Street more than 80 years ago at his family firm, trades were often closed with a gentleman’s clasp. Now, with computers completing transactions in microseconds, he says the industry is worse off.
'A handshake or a thank-you on the telephone was a confirmation of a transaction', the former head of Salomon Brothers said in an interview this week. 'Today you have lightning-fast trading which no one understands. It’s a vast difference. It was more of a gentlemanly game'.
Salomon celebrates his 100th birthday today with a 100-person gathering at the Council on Foreign Relations in Manhattan. To mark the occasion, he and former colleagues looked back on an earlier Wall Street, where Salomon said banking partnerships flourished and clients always came first.
Salomon began working at Salomon Brothers, the New York investment firm founded by his father and uncles, in 1933 and served as a managing partner from 1963 to 1978.
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