Financial innovation and the descent of money – Reading Niall Ferguson on Siegmund Warburg

Niall Ferguson’s biography of Siegmund Warburg probably came out just in time, in 2010, to be taken up as a topical work on a major City figure. Now some five years later one has to doubt whether the name of Siegmund Warburg signifies much at all. What was intended as a work to mark and celebrate the life of a financier now reads, just as validly, as an important work of historical scholarship. The attraction now lies in seeing how a career of heroic financial innovation has become submerged by a world of financial mayhem on an industrial scale to the extent that it is no longer possible to talk in terms of the banking values that so animated Siegmund Warburg –  what he called the feu sacré.

Professor Sam Whimster, GPI Working Paper, March 26, 2015


About the GPI

The Global Policy Institute is a research institute on international affairs. It is based in the City of London, and draws on both a rich pool of international thinkers, academics as well as policy and business professionals. The Institute gives non-partisan guidance to policymakers and decision takers in business, government, and NGOs.