This book is the result of impressive research and should be read by anyone interested in international finance. Unfortunately, the book is badly balanced. Although it covers the BIS from its founding in 1930 through 2013, about half of the book relates to the period to the end of the Second World War, covering the sinister links between the central bankers’ bank and Nazi Germany. The rest of the book seems to have been hastily tacked onto the first half and lacks its narrative drive. Mr. Lebor tries to be fair and quotes Canadian economist William White defending the BIS for warning about the Asian debt crisis in 1997 years before it happened. However, he doesn’t even mention the BIS chief economist Mr. White’s role as Cassandra of the Global Financial Crisis, well described in the der Spiegel article, “The Man Nobody Wanted to Hear: Global Banking Economist Warned of Coming Crisis”. Mr. Lebor, conceding that the BIS has long had an excellent research department, still maintains that there Is no need for it. The same work could be done somewhere else. One has to be skeptical about this. Different research departments have different ways of looking at things and, as Mr. White said, the BIS has always emphasized the risks of excessive lending more than its counterparts. If it were abolished, would its voice move elsewhere or simply be silenced?
(3 stars for research, 1/2 star for turning out to be a puff piece) Wish to know the specifics why the bank Prescott Bush (grandfather of former president George W. Bush) was a director at UBC where they had all their assets and shares seized for aiding Hitler? Wish to know just how underhanded John McCloy and the Dulles brothers were during Hitler's rule? Wish to know the connections between Hitler's Third Reich and the presidents of the central bank of central banks, the Bank for International Settlements? Knew about IBM's involvement with the Third Reich, but was unaware that Hitler's government awarded Thomas Watson, CEO of IBM, a medal? And the present day machinations of the BIS? Read this book! [One of many criticisms is the sometimes schizophrenic writing of the author; when he states that the politicians and governments lead people into wars, not the bankers? Is he for real? (Read p. 167 of Satyajit Das' book, "Traders, Guns & Money" for the proper explanation) Plus, towards the end the book devolves into a pro-BIS drivel - - do we really want an organization with Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke on its board? Even more horrifying to the informed reader: in the last few pages of the book, Lebor quotes Peter G. Peterson as if he has the Word from God - - Peterson has devoted his entire life to offshoring as many American jobs as possible, ending Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and forcing the populace to adhere to the WTO Financial Services Agreement. Peterson was the original financier, and may still be financing, the program, "Sesame Street" - - now has the real literacy rate risen or fallen since that has been on the air?]
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