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High Financier: The Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg Hardcover – June 24, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
"High Financier" can be divided into three parts based on the word "Lives" in the subtitle. The first "life" of Siegmund Warburg was his German one, from 1902-1933, covered in the first 90 pages of the book. His second "life" was his "Anglo-American" life - this runs from 1934 through the 1950s, or about page 200 in the book. The focus here is on Warburg's efforts at increasing transatlantic financial ties. The remainder of the book, slightly more than half, includes his "Anglo-German" life, or his work from the 1950s through his death in 1982 which primarily focused on European integration.
That first part will be of most interest to readers interested in German history and the interwar period. One intriguing point is what Ferguson describes as Warburg's ambivalent feelings toward the Nazi rise to power. As an educated German Jew he was of course repelled by their anti-Semitism and thuggish manner. Yet Warburg's diary and correspondence show that elements of the Nazi program appealed to him. This appears to be because as a life-long man of the political left, Warburg felt a strong attraction to collectivist policy and hostility for the decadence of the bourgeoisie, and thus hoped a coalition government including them might do some good.Read more ›
He revitalized London as a banking center after the war and orchestrated the takeover of British Aluminum, first hostile takeover in Britain. His partners were concerned since it flew in the face of City practice. However it resulted in a great deal of new business for the firm. Though I don't rememember it being in the book, he alway insisted on turquoise ink for signing his letters.
The book recounts Sir Siegmund's interest in graphology. I had to write an essay to be hired which presumably was sent to his graphologist.
He originated the eurobond market which helped make London a financial center.
It is a fascinating biography about a extraordinary man.
Ferguson's book may draw a smaller audience in the U.S. because Sir Siegmund's reputation is less well-know here. Nevertheless the lessons to be drawn from Sir Siegmund's efforts are as relevant today as they were when he was teaching them by example 50 years ago.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great read. Concise and illuminating. Would recommend to any history bluff or would be financier in Britain or the U.S.Published 1 month ago
Wonderful read. Ferguson provides an honest look into the life and mind of Warburg.Published 3 months ago by Gregory Levesque
In his preface Ferguson makes a sort of apology for writing about a somewhat obscure financier, as more readers prefer their history to be about rulers or important political... Read morePublished on August 13, 2013 by Gderf
Discarded book without finishing it.
I very much enjoyed Ron Chernow's "The Warburgs" and bought this title for more detail on Siegmund. Read more
This is the second book I have read about the Warburg family, and I am still impressed. Niall Ferguson is the "go to" man for reading about economics.Published on February 11, 2013 by Strom
Nobody to even to give it away, who would want it,! Warburg isn't portrayed in the light of a Krueger or Morgan. Dull, dull book!Published on February 4, 2013 by Joseph Klinger
I consider this book an excelent complement of both books about Roschilds. Ferguson has a nice pen to describe economic and politics issues since a point of view of bankers. Read morePublished on February 18, 2011 by Borges
This panoramic biography of Siegmund Warburg reveals a complex man who built international banking in response to the great turbulence of the 20th century. Read morePublished on February 10, 2011 by Rolf Dobelli