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Tower of Basel: The Shadowy History of the Secret Bank that Runs the World by [LeBor, Adam]
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Tower of Basel: The Shadowy History of the Secret Bank that Runs the World Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Review

"[Lebor] does a creditable job in this well-researched account." -- "New York Times Book Review"
"It's a story of financial intrigue, secrets and lies, rumor and truth. LeBor, a business journalist (he's also the author of several thrillers), knows how to make a true story about finance as thrilling as any spy novel. A highly entertaining and informative book about the most powerful bank you've probably never heard of." -- "Booklist "
"Lebor exposes the wheeling, dealing, and often nefarious activities of global investment bankers...Lively... The historical and contemporary power of the secretive BIS will surprise and alarm readers." -- "Publishers Weekly"
"An absorbing and thorough examination of one of the world's most important yet opaque institutions." --" Reuters "
"Adam LeBor has written an absolutely fascinating history of the BIS, perhaps the most enigmatic financial institution in the world. The story he unveils of the many skeletons in its closet and its astounding ability to remake itself periodically only add to its mystique." -- Liaquat Ahamed, author of "Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World"

Edward Lucas, author of "Deception: The Untold Story of East-West Espionage Today"""Tower of Basel" is essential reading. Meticulously researched and fluently written, it reveals a slice of the modern world's untold history--a gripping tale of covert networks, secret deals and unaccountable, powerful individuals whose decisions shape our lives."


Liaquat Ahamed, author of "Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World""Adam LeBor has written an absolutely fascinating history of the BIS, perhaps the most enigmatic financial institution in the world. The story he unveils of the many skeletons in its closet and its astounding ability to remake itself periodically only add to its mystique."


Harold James, professor of history and international affairs, Princeton University, and author o

[Lebor] does a creditable job in this well-researched account. "New York Times Book Review"
It s a story of financial intrigue, secrets and lies, rumor and truth. LeBor, a business journalist (he s also the author of several thrillers), knows how to make a true story about finance as thrilling as any spy novel. A highly entertaining and informative book about the most powerful bank you ve probably never heard of. "Booklist "
Lebor exposes the wheeling, dealing, and often nefarious activities of global investment bankersLively The historical and contemporary power of the secretive BIS will surprise and alarm readers. "Publishers Weekly"
An absorbing and thorough examination of one of the world s most important yet opaque institutions. " Reuters "
Adam LeBor has written an absolutely fascinating history of the BIS, perhaps the most enigmatic financial institution in the world. The story he unveils of the many skeletons in its closet and its astounding ability to remake itself periodically only add to its mystique. Liaquat Ahamed, author of "Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World"

Edward Lucas, author of "Deception: The Untold Story of East-West Espionage Today" "Tower of Basel"is essential reading. Meticulously researched and fluently written, it reveals a slice of the modern world s untold historya gripping tale of covert networks, secret deals and unaccountable, powerful individuals whose decisions shape our lives.

Liaquat Ahamed, author of "Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World" Adam LeBor has written an absolutely fascinating history of the BIS, perhaps the most enigmatic financial institution in the world. The storyhe unveils ofthe many skeletons in its closet and its astounding ability to remake itself periodically only add to its mystique.

Harold James, professor of history and international affairs, Princeton University, and author of "Making the European Monetary Union"
Compelling readinga masterly depiction of the role of the BIS in the Nazi period and Second World War.

"Booklist"
It s a story of financial intrigue, secrets and lies, rumor and truth. LeBor, a business journalist (he s also the author of several thrillers), knows how to make a true story about finance as thrilling as any spy novel. A highly entertaining and informative book about the most powerful bank you ve probably never heard of.

"Reuters Breaking Views"
An absorbing and thorough examination of one of the world s most important yet opaque institutions

"

About the Author

Adam LeBor is an author, journalist, and literary critic based in Budapest. He writes for The Economist, The Times (London), Monocle, and numerous other publications, and also reviews books for the New York Times. He has been a foreign correspondent since 1991, covering the collapse of communism and the Yugoslav wars, and has worked in more than thirty countries. He is the author of seven critically acclaimed nonfiction books, including the ground-breaking Hitler's Secret Bankers, and two novels. His books have been published in twelve languages.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1349 KB
  • Print Length: 362 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; Reprint edition (28 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610393813
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610393812
  • ASIN: B00BKRW6GI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #263,342 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This in-depth study, based on extensive archival documentation, surveys the history of the BIS, which until recently only a few financial experts had heard about. This institution, protected by extraterritorial privileges, can be seen as a forerunner of the European Central Bank, in that both are transnational banks free from "political interference" by the nations, which is Orwellian doublespeak meaning that they are private organisations operating outside of any democratic control or even accounting scrutiny by third parties, with an agenda of monetary manipulation (referred to in doublespeak as "stability") of national and international policies.
Historically, the BIS had strong links with both the US and National Socialist Germany and the latter's ideological and financial heirs in post-war Europe.
One critique that could be made is that the author could have cited more sources in languages other than English.
Early BIS documents reflect the longstanding paternalistic attitude of the banking elite, its dislike of disclosure and transparency, and its unwillingness to admit making mistakes even when these become self-evident.
Anyone who considers these conclusions to be somehow exaggerated should read the book for themselves.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I used to cover the Bank for International Settlements as a financial journalist in the 1980s, so knew a fair amount of this story. But the immense details Adam LeBor brings shows how deeply involved the BIS was during WWII and immediately afterwards in protecting Nazi interests.

What surprises me is to realise how much American financiers were implicated, both at the head of the BIS and in U.S. companies, banks and legal firms working to keep links with Nazi Germany going while American soldiers were making massive sacrifices on the battlefields against Germany.

Besides concerning the BIS, this book is a fierce indictment of the conduct of American financial interests overall.

The BIS is undemocratic, as LeBor points out, but it is so useful to behind-the-scenes international monetary cooperation, that it is likely to keep on going indefinitely. Some of the quiet measures taken by the BIS to help one crisis or another did impress me, I must admit. But at what moral cost?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author Adam Lebor's account of the establishment in 1930 of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) exposes it's shocking and unforgivable willingness to become Adolph Hitler's financial conduit and facilitator, enabling the pillaging of invaded states Gold and Currency Reserves.

As thoroughly researched that the book so well demonstrates with the detailed history of BIS, no real clue is given as to the reason why the then Governor of the Bank of England, Montagu Norman should form such a dubious alliance and deep friendship with Hjalmar Schacht, a fanatical supporter of Hitler and the Nazi Party who served Hitler as President of the central state bank Reichsbank, and as Minister of Economics. It was this 'alliance' that was instrumental in BIS's formation and because of the unaccountable way it had been set up, it allowed the BIS to plunge into the murky world of giving assistance to a state that carried out such illegal, and barbarous acts against great swathes of humanity. It was unforgivable.

After the war, and with widespread alarm at the role played by BIS as an adjunct to the Nazi Party, the Breton Woods Conference in 1944 decided that the BIS should be done away with, and yet somehow with much behind the scenes manoeuvring surprisingly involving John Maynard Keynes, the BIS was allowed to carry on.

Since when, in order to obfuscate the past and to buff up it's image, BIS has 'morphed' into a hybrid mutation as the banker to Central Banks around the world, a self-acclaimed expert in the capital and liquidity ratios held by the commercial banking industry, and some fee earning financial regulatory and monitoring services.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This in-depth study, based on extensive archival documentation, surveys the history of the BIS, which until recently only a few financial experts had heard about. This institution, protected by extraterritorial privileges, can be seen as a forerunner of the European Central Bank, in that both are transnational banks free from "political interference" by the nations, which is Orwellian doublespeak meaning that they are private organisations operating outside of any democratic control or even accounting scrutiny by third parties, with an agenda of monetary manipulation (referred to in doublespeak as "stability") of national and international policies.
Historically, the BIS had strong links with both the US and National Socialist Germany and the latter's ideological and financial heirs in post-war Europe.
One critique that could be made is that the author could have cited more sources in languages other than English.
Early BIS documents reflect the longstanding paternalistic attitude of the banking elite, its dislike of disclosure and transparency, and its unwillingness to admit making mistakes even when these become self-evident.
Anyone who considers these conclusions to be somehow exaggerated should read the book for themselves.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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