In this groundbreaking biography, based on more than 10,000 hitherto unavailable letters and diary entries, Niall Ferguson returns to his roots as a financial historian to tell the story of the extraordinary Siegmund Warburg.
A refugee from Hitler's Germany, Warburg rose to become the dominant figure in the post-war City of London and one of the architects of European financial integration. Seared by events in the 1930s, when the long-established Warburg bank was first almost destroyed by the Depression and then 'Aryanized' by the Nazis, Warburg was determined that his own bank would learn from the past and contribute to the economic recovery of Britain, the unity of Western Europe and the birth of globalization.
Siegmund Warburg was a complex and ambivalent man, as much a psychologist, politician and actor-manager as a banker. In High Financier Niall Ferguson reveals Warburg's idiosyncracies but above all he recaptures the meticulous business methods and strict ethical code that set Warburg apart from the mere speculators and traders who inhabit today's financial world.
Beautifully paced, dramatically subtle and psychologically shrewd, this is Ferguson at his finest
Ferguson is a talented writer, capable of grace and insight, but it is his ability as a historian that shows most strongly in High Financier
Its many finance lessons aside, High Financier is a pleasure to read simply as a work of literary skill. It is not only prodigiously researched but also splendidly written-clear and vivid and precise, perhaps even of enough merit to satisfy a word-stickler like Siegmund Warburg
A timely, original and engaging biography of Siegmund Warburg
This book is both a notable contribution to economic history and a fascinating portrait