Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Anniversary, Mickie

Muriel ("Mickie") Siebert will ring the closing bell on the New York Stock Exchange today, honoring the 40th anniversary of the day she first took her seat on Wall Street. 

I’ve been a fan of Mickie’s ever since I first heard about her during my undergraduate days at UC Berkeley (mid-70s).  I wrote a paper about the SEC during my junior year, during which I interviewed several stockbrokers at EF Hutton (Remember them?  Are you listening?).  One of them knew Mickie personally, and told me that he hoped I’d meet her someday.

Well, I did, and have enjoyed our various conversations over the last decade.  I introduced my daughters and my mother to her too.  She has some amazing stories and is, I believe, a model of integrity for the industry.  She gave up a lot of money to serve the state of New York, serving as the first woman Superintendent of Banking for the State of New York. Although there was a major banking crisis at the time, under her leadership no banks failed in New York State.

Mickie and I share concern about the financial literacy—or lack thereof—of today’s high school students.  Mickie, however, has put her money where her mouth is, having created and funded a financial literacy teaching program available free of charge to high schools nationwide in order to address this issue and especially support educational efforts in school districts that might not be able to afford developing or otherwise obtaining an objective program.

According to a press release (which can be found here), the curriculum, entitled “The Personal Finance Program: Taking Control of Your Financial Future,” is now being taught as part of the required Economics course for high school seniors in New York City’s public schools and is in test roll-out in Palm Beach and Miami/Dade Counties in Florida, and other locations. It has received laudatory reviews from the Archdiocese of New York, which has introduced it in its high schools. The Council of the Great City Schools, a coalition of the nation’s largest urban public school systems, has distributed the program to each of its 64 member cities. In keeping with her personal agenda, Ms. Siebert hopes to see this program established nationally.

Posted by twcarey on 12/28 at 11:24 AM
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