AÂ mostly favorable and long (6 pages) profile of Objectivist and former BB&T CEO (current Chairman)Â John Allison from Sunday’s New York Times:Â
OverÂ much of the last four decades, John A. Allison IV built BB&TÂ from a local bank in North Carolina into a regional powerhouse that has weathered the economic crisis far better than many of its troubled rivals â?? largely by avoiding financial gimmickry.
And in his spare time, Mr. Allison travels the country making speeches about his bankâ??s distinctive philosophy.
Speaking at a recent convention in Boston to a group of like-minded business people and students, Mr. Allison tells a story: A boy is playing in a sandbox, only to have his truck taken by another child.Â A fight ensues, and the boyâ??s mother tells him to stop being selfish and to share.
â??You learned in that sandbox at some really deep level that itâ??s bad to be selfish,â? says Mr. Allison, adding that the mother has taught a horrible lesson.Â â??To say man is bad because he is selfish is to say itâ??s bad because heâ??s alive.â?
If Mr. Allisonâ??s speech sounds vaguely familiar, itâ??s because itâ??s based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand, who celebrated the virtues of reason, self-interest and laissez-faire capitalism while maintaining that altruism is a destructive force.Â In Ms. Randâ??s world, nothing is more heroic â?? and sexy â?? than a hard-working businessman free to pursue his wealth.Â And nothing is worse than a pesky bureaucrat trying to restrict business and redistribute wealth.
- Intro to “Give BB&T Liberty, But Not A Bailout”, The New York Times, August 2