High Financier: Niall Ferguson in Ilkley
Warburg rose to become a dominant figure in the City of London and one of the architects of European financial integration. Seared by events in the 1930s, when the long-established family-run bank was first almost destroyed by the Depression and then 'Aryanized' by the Nazis, Warburg was determined that his own bank, S.G. Warburg, would both learn from the past and contribute to the healing of post-war Europe.
Warburg was a complex and ambivalent man, as much a psychologist, politician and actor-manager as a banker. Ferguson reveals his idiosyncracies: the love-hate relationships, the feline intuitions, the mercurial temper-tantrums. And 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.
In this programme, recorded at the 2010 Ilkley Literature Festival, he is in conversation with the Yorkshire Post's Business Editor Bernard Ginns.
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Acclaimed and controversial historian Niall Ferguson, bestselling author of The Ascent of Money, presenter of the BBC series Empire, Professor of History at Harvard and Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford, here returns to his roots as a financial historian.
High Financier: The Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg published by Allen Lane at 30. ISBN: 0713998717