I’ve recently had the opportunity to meet John Allison and hear him speak. Allison was the longtime CEO of BB&T Bank. I believe he has stepped down from that role but remains the Chairman of the Board. I first really became aware of Allison when he announced that BB&T would refuse to lend for projects using “Kelo-style” takings to give land to private developers. My admiration grew when I read his pointed criticism of the TARP bailout in the fall.
National Review has a good piece this week profiling Allison and the influence of his Randian philosophy on his life and his business success. He may be the most articulate and influential expositor of the freedom philosophy and Randianism that I believe I’ve heard. I’m not a Randian, but if you ever get the opportunity to hear him speak on his philosophy or the bailout, I highly recommend it.
In fact, I think the most interesting point in the piece is how Allison’s philosophy helped BB&T to avoid the ruin of many other banks: