President Kennedy assembles a task force to strengthen foreign interest in U.S. securities and companies overseas
TLS as president signed “John Kennedy,” two pages, 7.25 x 9.75, White House letterhead, October 1, 1963. Letter to George F. James, Senior Vice President for Planning and Finance of the Socony-Mobil Oil Company, in full: “It is my pleasure to invite you to be a member of a task force designed to pool the know-how of the private financial community and the national government for the purpose of advising on a plan and program for the promotion of investment by foreign savers in the securities of United States private companies and of increased foreign financing for United States businesses operating abroad. This task force will combine private members like yourself from sectors of the private business and financial world who are knowledgeable about the problems which face our country in this area, and representatives of the State and Treasury Departments, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. As a member of this group, you will serve in an advisory capacity, and the findings and recommendations of the task force will be submitted to me.
As you know, net investment by foreign savers in the securities of United States private companies has fallen rapidly. It was less than $150 million in 1962. The better climate for investment that will flow from the enactment of the program for tax reduction and reform now before the Congress will do much to improve the situation. But a direct-action program is needed to promote overseas sales of securities of American companies. Such a program should also be designed to increase foreign participation in the financing of new or expanded operations on the part of United States companies operating abroad.
In order to meet these two facets of a single problem, a new and positive program must be directed to the following areas of effort:
(a) The identification and critical appraisal of the legal, administrative, and institutional restrictions remaining in the capital markets of other industrial nations of the free world which prevent the purchase of American securities and hamper U. S. companies in financing their operations abroad from non-U. S. sources;
(b) A review of U. S. Government and private activities which adversely affect foreign purchase of the securities of U.S. private companies; and
(c) A broad and intensive effort by the U. S. financial community to market securities of U. S. private companies to foreign investors, and to increase the availability of foreign financing for U.S. business operating abroad.
Knowing of your personal interest and that of your organization in this area, as well as your extensive and continuing participation in the operations of the financial community relating to it, I am hopeful that you can make your advice, experience and ‘know-how’ available to this important committee. Your aid may help our nation to devise better methods of meeting successfully the challenge in this very significant aspect of our balance-of-payments problem.
I recognize that the success of any program which is recommended might well result in increased business for the area of the financial community with which you are associated. To this extent it may well be that your own personal interests correspond with the national interest in promoting increased purchases of American securities by foreign investors and increasing foreign financing for American firms abroad. Because of your knowledge of your business and industry your advice will be valuable to those charged with the Federal responsibility for encouraging this type of investment. You will not be serving as a representative or employee of the Government, but will be free to represent the views of your own personal and business interests.
Of course, any concrete action the Government decides to take, based on the findings and recommendations of the task force, must take into account considerations other than the desirability of promoting investment by foreign savers in U. S. private securities. Your willingness to serve on this important task force will be very much appreciated.” Matted and framed to an overall size of 18.75 x 13.75. In fine condition, with trivial brushing to the signature.