This is not the usual corporate anniversary publication in which financial institutions manage to discourage interest in their recent past. It is a set of interwoven histories, published by the Grupo Financiero Popular, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of its centerpiece, the Banco Popular Dominicano. Credit is due the Banco Popular itself for having given an independent historian hroad access to extensive and apparently well-kept papers.

Frank Moya Pons largely accomplishes what he promises in his introduction: the history of the Banco Popular Dominicano, the economic and financial context and the initiatives to deal with it, and finally a history of inspired management. It is much more than an institutional history. We get some clear views of cohesion and dissent in the hoard, of leadership and failure. Moya Pons draws in vivid detail the growth and the exhausting struggle to prevail over political and institutional obstacles in a climate of deteriorating terms of trade. He handles remarkably well the impact of the debt crisis on the Banco Popular, its efforts to cope with it, and the role of the central bank, matters relevant beyond the Dominican context—the author’s reach in these areas contributes to the practical value of his book.

While the text is lively and credible, the book could have gained from an analysis of the accounts of the financial institutions. We get only a glimpse of the profitability, which should be measured against inflation, currency rates, and sector averages. How profitable were the other holdings of the group? What about cost of funds against interest and commission income? Size and utilization of facilities with correspondents? Mismatching? Credit facilities by economic sector—how much to group companies? Taxation and cost of operation? For at least some of these questions, the answers should have been available. Finally, the foreign reader likes to see some historical series of macro-economic data, particularly concerning balance of payments, trade, money supply, inflation, and currency rates.