The Moneychangers applies that formula to the operation of a big bank but, since banks have changed less since the mid-20th century than airports or the auto industry, Moneychangers has more contemporary feel.
The story opens opens with Alex Vandervoort and Roscoe Heyward competing for the presidency of First Mercantile American Bank.
The two men have very different assessments of what banks should do. For Roscoe, it’s all about shareholder profits; for Alex it’s about making reasonable profit while serving communities.
Split evenly between the candidates, the bank board puts one of its members in the presidency, leaving Alex and Roscoe as vice presidents.
Hailey does his usual thorough job explaining banking operations while telling a story. And he keeps the subplots exciting and relevant.
The leading characters are each well-developed, individually interesting. They argue about the future of banking, including about how long it will be before the American economy collapses under its weight of debt, and about ethics.
And they make the arguments matter.
Thus, The Moneychangers manages to be both easy reading and valuable reading.
The Moneychangers by Arthur Hailey
Doubleday  436 p.
1975 bestseller #2. My grade: A-
© 2018 Linda Gorton Aragoni