The global recession over the past few years has brought back reality into all world economies. It also should be a reminder of how history should serve as a deterrent for keeping reality in check. Lords of Finance – The Bankers Who Broke The World by Liaquat Ahamed is a fascinating history of financial turmoil (after World War I) and country dealings that helped lead to World War II.
The central bankers of the U.S. (Benjamin Strong, Jr.), England (Montagu Norman), Germany (Dr. Hjalmar Schacht) and France (Emile Moreau) had to deal with their country’s own best interests but World War I had linked all four economies indirectly. After World War I these four economies were dealing with currencies to the gold standard, war debts and war reparations.
The government short term focused decisions and their disagreements had a tragic effect on their own economy as well as others. While the world economy is much larger and influenced beyond four counties today, reviewing history hopefully will prevent future economic disaster. If you would like to understand better what set the stage for World War II then this book will certainly help.