Lords of Finance

Lords of Finance

The Bankers Who Broke the World

Book - 2009
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With penetrating insights for today, this vital history of the world economic collapse of the late 1920s offers unforgettable portraits of four men--Montagu Norman, Amile Moreau, Hjalmar Schacht, and Benjamin Strong--whose personal and professional actions as heads of their respective central banks changed the course of the twentieth century.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2009
ISBN: 9781594201820
159420182X
Branch Call Number: 332.10922 AH13L 2009
Characteristics: 564 p.: ill. ; 25 cm

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w
wyenotgo
Aug 27, 2015

An astonishing book! It brings to light the intriguing, arcane and in some ways frightening world of sovereign wealth, the small group of men who control it and the geopolitical impact of the decisions they make. It became clear to me as I read that some of those men were clearly eccentric if not outright mad. Ahamed explores at some length the mystique of gold, along with its many pitfalls as an arbitrary and often distorted standard for measuring wealth. And adding to that aspect was the realization that economics remains to this day not a science (dismal or otherwise) but simply a collection of contradictory theories, most of which have failed when attempts were made to put them into practice.
The book also raises so many questions, not least of which was: Where on earth did Hitler find the enormous sums of money that enabled the Third Reich to build the largest and most advanced war machine of his day in a few short years, starting with a bankrupt and isolated country?
Reading W. L. Shirer's "Berlin Diary" and "Rise and Fall .." provides no enlightenment either. The usual opinion seems to be that Hitler financed his adventure by confiscating vast amounts of personal wealth, mostly from Jews and by looting the countries he invaded; but that seems hardly sufficient to cover the cost of armaments and munitions, let alone equipping paying and feeding gigantic numbers of men in arms.

s
StarGladiator
Mar 09, 2015

I disagreed with the author on many points [really, Andrew Mellon's policies set in three administrations really screwed up everything, plus all that alcoholic beveridge monies [Prohibition] laundered through the NYSE, et cetera] but noted the author's background. Wasn't he at the World Bank w/Mrs. Michael Beschloss when she invested World Bank funds in the Carlyle Group, then got a job with them to manage said funds, and eventually founded the hedge fund, Rock Creek Group, which the author also belongs to?

jlazcan Nov 11, 2011

This book is a little dry (so are many books dealing with History and Finance) and hard to follow because the author is rotating back and forth between countries and the players involved. It gives a detailed account of the lead-up and subsequent crash of the world economy. The author explains the market and political forces at work that helped to cause the implosion. This period is of particular importance and influenced the rest of the 20th Century as well as our current economy today. Finance and Economics will forever remember this period as a backdrop for testing theories in a real world setting.

2
21288004246712
Dec 20, 2009

easy read but thoroughly researched, more about the personalities although events are clearly discussed as well

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husky2n2
Aug 17, 2010

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