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Other People's Money And How The Bankers Use It
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Top Customer Reviews
When we tip our hat to bankers, we typically honor their role as intermediaries: they direct money from depositors to valuable investment opportunities. Most depositors cannot be expected to evaluate the claims of businessmen, so bankers function as a vehicle for judging risk and establishing reputations. Hence the now-famous dialogue between J.P. Morgan and Samuel Untermyer:
'Untermyer: "Is not commercial credit based primarily upon money or property?"
Morgan: "No sir. The first thing is character."
Untermyer: "Before money or property?"
Morgan: "Before money or property or anything else. Money cannot buy it...because a man I do not trust could not get money from me on all the bonds in Christendom."'
You will presumably find few people today who view bankers as this sort of lantern-jaw-held-steady, coldly-responsible übermenschen.
On the other side of the risk-judging coin, bankers are supposed to finance the little guy. The entrepreneur just starting out who needs a few dollars at the right moment -- this man is capitalism's hero, and he's the one to whom bankers are supposed to direct money. As the entrepreneurs' hero, the banker is supposed to be our hero as well.
Think again, says Brandeis; bankers only give money to enterprises which have proven that they hold no risk whatsoever.Read more ›
I highly recommend the edition of Other People's Money edited by Urofsky because his introduction adds a great deal to this slim volume which began life as a series of even shorter magazine articles.
Overall, Distressingly familiar [even many of the names have not changed after 100 years]!
I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the financial history of the country. And to anyone who enjoys an excercise in "the more things change...".
It's worth repeating that Brandeis's analysis, especially his analysis on wave after wave of purposeless business consolidation and the failures of banker management, was absolutely brilliant. Multiply what he wrote about the money trust and the monopolies they created back then by about a thousand, and you get a general idea of the trouble we face today in breaking the death grip the money trust and their political enablers have on our economic and political freedom.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book objectively reveals how banks use people's money. It gives readers in depth background knowledge about banking operations.Published 19 months ago by Jean
It's time for us to wake up and see the roses for what they are. Very informative and truthful about who runs the country. It's time for us to take it back. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Michael G.
We have indeed entered another guilded age. When you have a license to gamble with other people's money, you can't lose.
Everyone should read this. Read more
I signed out Urofsky's 1995 edition from the library. Brandeis first published 10 articles in Harper's Weekly starting in late-1913 (which was published as a book in March 1914)... Read morePublished on September 8, 2013 by Brian G. Ruschel
Banks too big to fail! it amazes and saddens me to see the same issues we argue about today were argued so long ago. Read morePublished on July 13, 2013 by Marc Schultz
I thought this book would give me some insights into today's financial picture. It was good history but not applicable to the modern financial system. Read morePublished on July 5, 2013 by Paul F. McDonald