William Henry Donaldson (born June 2, 1931) was the 27th Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), serving from February 2003 to June 2005. He served as Under Secretary of State for International Security Affairs in the Nixon Administration, as a special adviser to Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, Chairman and CEO of the New York Stock Exchange, and Chairman, President and CEO of Aetna. Donaldson founded Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.
Donaldson attended both Yale University (B.A. 1953) and Harvard University (M.B.A. 1958). While he was a senior at Yale, he joined its Skull and Bones secret society.
He began his career at G.H. Walker & Co..
He was Chairman of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace from 1999 to 2003. Donaldson returned to Yale and founded the Yale School of Management, where he served as dean and professor of management studies. The main building of the school continues to display a live size portrait of him and the premier leadership award at Yale School of Management is called "Donaldson Fellows". He also served in the United States Marine Corps.
Donaldson is a chartered financial analyst (CFA) charterholder and has received a number of honorary degrees. Donaldson is the father of three children and is married to Jane Phillips Donaldson.
On October 19, 1987, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped 508 points, a 22.6% loss in a single day, the second-biggest one-day drop the exchange had experienced. Black Monday was followed by Terrible Tuesday, a day in which the Exchange's systems did not perform well and some people had difficulty completing their trades.
Subsequently, there was another major drop for the Dow on October 13, 1989—the Mini-Crash of 1989. The crash was apparently caused by a reaction to a news story of a $6.75 billion leveraged buyout deal for UAL Corporation, the parent company of United Airlines, which broke down. When the UAL deal fell through, it helped trigger the collapse of the junk bond market causing the Dow to fall 190.58 points, or 6.91 percent.
Similarly, there was a panic in the financial world during the year of 1997; the Asian Financial Crisis. Like the fall of many foreign markets, the Dow suffered a 7.18% drop in value (554.26 points) on October 27, 1997, in what later became known as the 1997 Mini-Crash but from which the DJIA recovered quickly. This was the first time that the "circuit breaker" rule had operated.
On January 26, 2000, an altercation during filming of the music video for "Sleep Now in the Fire", which was directed by Michael Moore, caused the doors of the exchange to be closed and the band Rage Against the Machine to be escorted from the site by security after band members attempted to gain entry into the exchange. The video shoot had attracted several hundred people, according to a representative for the city’s Deputy Commissioner for Public Information. New York City's film office does not allow weekday film shoots on Wall Street. Moore had permission to use the steps of Federal Hall but did not have a permit to shoot on the sidewalk or the street, nor did he have a loud-noise permit or the proper parking permits. "Michael basically gave us one directorial instruction, "No matter what happens, don't stop playing," Tom Morello recalls. When the band left the steps, NYPD apprehended Moore and led him away. Moore yelled to the band, "Take the New York Stock Exchange!" In an interview with the Socialist Worker, Morello said he and scores of others ran into the Stock Exchange. "About two hundred of us got through the first set of doors, but our charge was stopped when the Stock Exchange's titanium riot doors came crashing down." "For a few minutes, Rage Against the Machine was able to shut down American capitalism," Moore said. "An act that I am sure tens of thousands of downsized citizens would cheer." Trading on the exchange floor, however, continued uninterrupted.