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