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Riding the Bull. Joseph Grano: a Predictable Hero in Wall Street

John Margherita (September 29, 2009)
Italian-American Businessman Joseph Grano will present his book "You Can't Predict a Hero: From War to Wall Street, Leading in Times of Crisis" on Oct. 1 at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute. In his book he describes how he was able to triumph over challenges both personal and professional and how he learned to find opportunities in any crisis.

Examples of Italian-Americans who have greatly contributed to the development and enrichment of the United States are countless. Government, Public Administration, Construction, Engineering, Art, and Cinema - they are present in every possible field, and , naturally, in the field of economics too.  


Mr. Joseph Grano is without a doubt one of the columns of Wall Street, having witnessed and lived over 40 years of its history. In "You Can't Predict a Hero: From War to Wall Street, Leading in Times of Crisis", he recounts his lifetime achievements there, and the history of the contemporary American economic scene from one particular point of view, that of a businessman of Italian ancestry.


He will read excerpts from his book and discuss the facts he narrates at the Calandra Italian American Institute on October 1, at 6 pm.


"The reason why a book such as 'You Can't Predict a Hero: From War to Wall Street, Leading in Times of Crisis' interests the Calandra Institute is because it shows how an Italian-American that has grown up in a working-class environment can become just as successful as a person who grew up with a more favorable economic background and reach both national and international fame. Our institute primarily deals with the culture and history of Italian-Americans; but we also need to look at them in a broader landscape. Hosting Joseph Grano and presenting his book to the community becomes an occasion to show non Italians and non Italian-Americans that we do have, can have, and have had prestigious positions both at the national and international level", said Prof. Anthony J. Tamburri, Dean of the Calandra Institute. 


Mr. Grano has not only been a witness to the changes in American finances in the last decades but has also been one of the creators of its deepest reforms. Grano began his career as a stock broker at Merrill Lynch, where he rose to various senior management positions over 16 years. A decorated war hero, he was chosen by the Bush Administration to be chairman of the President’s Homeland Security Advisory Council after 9/11, a position he held from 2002-2005. In the meantime he kept his position as chairman of UBS Financial Systems until 2004.


It was this baggage of experiences within American financial corporations that led him to write this book, a source of inspiration for all those who operate in the field. The work, written in collaboration with bestselling author Mark Levine, is structured around six specific crises he faced and aims to leave the reader one main message: no matter how hard times can be, with optimism and determination you can still make it. This is what Joseph Grano writes but also has shown through his lifetime achievements:  whether leading draftees through combat as a Green Beret in Vietnam, regrouping a team of brokers during the market crash of 1987, or working tirelessly to reopen Wall Street after the attacks on 9/11, he has served in the front lines of our nation's most recent defining moments, leading and even inspiring others when things seemed at their darkest.


The book is considered a vademecum for those operating in the field, and has already received praise from several trade magazines and newspapers. “I have read many books on ‘leadership.’ Joe Grano’s 'You Can’t Predict a Hero' is, quite simply, the best by far. This is a terrific book, for the story it tells, for the lessons it teaches, and for the solutions it offers. I recommend it highly.” said former Governor of New York George Pataki; he was echoed by internationally well-known businessman Lee Iacocca, who defined Joseph Grano “one of America’s great business leaders. There’s no one better at leading in a time of crisis.”  


If you are passionate about economics, if you work in the field, or even if you just want to meet a man of Italian ancestry with a success story to recount, don't miss the reading at the Calandra Institute next October 1.

Thursday, October 1 (6:00 PM)
Book reading and reception with Wall Street Businessman Joseph Grano

John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, Queens College/CUNY

25 W 43rd St, New York, New York, NY 10036