Explore history's titans of finance, and their lasting global impact
Heroes and Villains of Finance is a fascinating dive into the history of money as an institution, highlighting the fifty most significant figures that, rightly or wrongly, are responsible for the financial landscape we live in today. From philosophers and bankers to fraudsters and academics, this book provides a striking introduction to the most remarkable characters in the history of finance. Their impact reaches far beyond the financial system itself, and has helped shape the course of human history. The economic systems of today would look very differently if it weren't for these innovators, thought leaders, storytellers, and rebels, and this captivating examination takes you inside their stories to understand their thinking, their background, their perspective, and their inspiration.
People both inside and outside the world of finance are perpetually curious about the larger-than-life characters who built, shaped, and continue to populate the industry. Their actions, both positive and negative, are responsible for what we understand as finance today. This book provides a glimpse into the events and motivations that contributed to the industry's evolution.
- Learn how the Knights Templar became the first banking institution
- Examine the Rothschild family's pioneering use of financial instruments in order to safeguard their wealth from distrusting European monarchs
- Study the origins and evolution of the Ponzi scheme
- Realise how Reaganomics still affects the U.S. economy today
The finance industry is always in the public eye, and it's one of the few places where the actions of a few — or even a single person — can ripple throughout large populations. Heroes and Villains of Finance gives you a closer look at the biggest names that had the biggest impact, for better or worse.
"This book is a marvellous introduction to a gallery of fascinating figures from the world of Big Money. The author has chosen a brilliant collection of crooks, entrepreneurs, philosophers, economists and bankers. These highly readable short lives provide an excellent education to any reader who wants to understand the personalities who shaped today's world of investment"
—Luke Johnson, Chairman of Risk Capital Partners, former chairman of Pizza Express and Channel 4 Television, Financial Times columnist and author of Start It Up
"Heroes and Villains of Finance provides a fascinating and insightful guide to the personalities and developments that have transformed finance and continue to do so. Anyone trying to understand where finance is now, how it got there and where it might go should read this book"
—Dr Stephen Davies, Institute of Economic Affairs
"An exciting, informative ride through the big ideas and even bigger personalities that have shaped the world of finance."
—Sam Bowman, The Adam Smith Institute
"This delightful book provides a punchy reminder that, whilst we should rightly celebrate the longevity of the vision of the heroes of finance like Adam Smith, the potential downsides of financial innovation have always been with us which we are inclined to forget"
—Professor Mike Wright, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Imperial College London and ranked #1 worldwide for publications in academic entrepreneurship