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Lords of Finance - The Bankers Who Broke the World-logo

Lords of Finance - The Bankers Who Broke the World

Liaquat Ahamed

It is commonly believed that the Great Depression that began in 1929 resulted from a confluence of events beyond any one person's or government's control. In fact, as Liaquat Ahamed reveals, it was the decisions made by a small number of central bankers that were the primary cause of the economic meltdown, the effects of which set the stage for World War II and reverberated for decades. In Lords of Finance, we meet the neurotic and enigmatic Montagu Norman of the Bank of England, the xenophobic and suspicious Émile Moreau of the Banque de France, the arrogant yet brilliant Hjalmar Schacht of the Reichsbank, and Benjamin Strong of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, whose façade of energy and drive masked a deeply wounded and overburdened man. After the First World War, these central bankers attempted to reconstruct the world of international finance. Despite their differences, they were united by a common fear-that the greatest threat to capitalism was inflation-and by a common vision that the solution was to turn back the clock and return the world to the gold standard. For a brief period in the mid-1920s, they appeared to have succeeded. The world's currencies were stabilized, and capital began flowing freely across the globe. But beneath the veneer of boomtown prosperity, cracks started to appear in the financial system. The gold standard that all had believed would provide an umbrella of stability proved to be a straitjacket, and the world economy began that terrible downward spiral known as the Great Depression. As yet another period of economic turmoil makes headlines today, the Great Depression and the year 1929 remain the benchmark for true financial mayhem. Offering a new understanding of the global nature of financial crises, Lords of Finance is a potent reminder of the enormous impact that the decisions of central bankers can have, of their fallibility, and of the terrible human consequences that can result when they are wrong.

It is commonly believed that the Great Depression that began in 1929 resulted from a confluence of events beyond any one person's or government's control. In fact, as Liaquat Ahamed reveals, it was the decisions made by a small number of central bankers that were the primary cause of the economic meltdown, the effects of which set the stage for World War II and reverberated for decades. In Lords of Finance, we meet the neurotic and enigmatic Montagu Norman of the Bank of England, the xenophobic and suspicious Émile Moreau of the Banque de France, the arrogant yet brilliant Hjalmar Schacht of the Reichsbank, and Benjamin Strong of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, whose façade of energy and drive masked a deeply wounded and overburdened man. After the First World War, these central bankers attempted to reconstruct the world of international finance. Despite their differences, they were united by a common fear-that the greatest threat to capitalism was inflation-and by a common vision that the solution was to turn back the clock and return the world to the gold standard. For a brief period in the mid-1920s, they appeared to have succeeded. The world's currencies were stabilized, and capital began flowing freely across the globe. But beneath the veneer of boomtown prosperity, cracks started to appear in the financial system. The gold standard that all had believed would provide an umbrella of stability proved to be a straitjacket, and the world economy began that terrible downward spiral known as the Great Depression. As yet another period of economic turmoil makes headlines today, the Great Depression and the year 1929 remain the benchmark for true financial mayhem. Offering a new understanding of the global nature of financial crises, Lords of Finance is a potent reminder of the enormous impact that the decisions of central bankers can have, of their fallibility, and of the terrible human consequences that can result when they are wrong.
More Information

Description:

It is commonly believed that the Great Depression that began in 1929 resulted from a confluence of events beyond any one person's or government's control. In fact, as Liaquat Ahamed reveals, it was the decisions made by a small number of central bankers that were the primary cause of the economic meltdown, the effects of which set the stage for World War II and reverberated for decades. In Lords of Finance, we meet the neurotic and enigmatic Montagu Norman of the Bank of England, the xenophobic and suspicious Émile Moreau of the Banque de France, the arrogant yet brilliant Hjalmar Schacht of the Reichsbank, and Benjamin Strong of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, whose façade of energy and drive masked a deeply wounded and overburdened man. After the First World War, these central bankers attempted to reconstruct the world of international finance. Despite their differences, they were united by a common fear-that the greatest threat to capitalism was inflation-and by a common vision that the solution was to turn back the clock and return the world to the gold standard. For a brief period in the mid-1920s, they appeared to have succeeded. The world's currencies were stabilized, and capital began flowing freely across the globe. But beneath the veneer of boomtown prosperity, cracks started to appear in the financial system. The gold standard that all had believed would provide an umbrella of stability proved to be a straitjacket, and the world economy began that terrible downward spiral known as the Great Depression. As yet another period of economic turmoil makes headlines today, the Great Depression and the year 1929 remain the benchmark for true financial mayhem. Offering a new understanding of the global nature of financial crises, Lords of Finance is a potent reminder of the enormous impact that the decisions of central bankers can have, of their fallibility, and of the terrible human consequences that can result when they are wrong.

Language:

English

Narrators:

Stephen Hoye

Length:

18h 33m


Chapters

Introduction
Introduction

37:44


Part 1, Chapter 1
Part 1, Chapter 1

07:06


Part 1, Chapter 2
Part 1, Chapter 2

24:18


Part 1, Chapter 3
Part 1, Chapter 3

23:32


Part 1, Chapter 4
Part 1, Chapter 4

33:41


Part 1, Chapter 5
Part 1, Chapter 5

24:25


Part 1, Chapter 6
Part 1, Chapter 6

53:27


Part 2, Chapter 7
Part 2, Chapter 7

01:13:37


Part 2, Chapter 8
Part 2, Chapter 8

55:46


Part 2, Chapter 9
Part 2, Chapter 9

50:04


Part 3, Chapter 10
Part 3, Chapter 10

30:18


Part 3, Chapter 11
Part 3, Chapter 11

55:52


Part 3, Chapter 12
Part 3, Chapter 12

54:27


Part 3, Chapter 13
Part 3, Chapter 13

01:03:55


Part 3, Chapter 14
Part 3, Chapter 14

47:09


Part 3, Chapter 15
Part 3, Chapter 15

32:26


Part 4, Chapter 16
Part 4, Chapter 16

01:32:01


Part 4, Chapter 17
Part 4, Chapter 17

01:02:33


Part 4, Chapter 18
Part 4, Chapter 18

40:35


Part 4, Chapter 19
Part 4, Chapter 19

01:04:18


Part 4, Chapter 20
Part 4, Chapter 20

01:04:06


Part 5, Chapter 21
Part 5, Chapter 21

59:00


Part 5, Chapter 22
Part 5, Chapter 22

41:34


Part 5, Chapter 23
Part 5, Chapter 23

20:46


Part 5, Chapter 24
Part 5, Chapter 24

00:24