The Rothschilds: From Ghetto Traders to Top-Tier Bankers
|August 16, 2014||Posted by Staff under Financial|
This 2014 excerpt of Business Insider, Aug 12, is by Lucas Kawa.
Mayer Amschel Rothschild, original architect of that Jewish family fortune, was born in 1744. He lived above the family shop with up to 30 relatives in extremely cramped conditions.
Mayer’s father, Amschel Moses, worked as a money changer and silk cloth trader, and had Prince William of Hesse on his client list.
As with his father before him, Mayer was able to ingratiate himself with Prince William and make a decent living by collecting and selling rare coins. These “mail-order antique sales” served as the basis for the Rothschild fortune. In 1769, Mayer was granted the title of court agent, which would prove a boon to his money-making opportunities.
In 1770, Mayer married Gutle Schnapper and received a generous dowry from her father, who also worked as a court agent. The two would have five sons and five daughters.
In his will, Mayer outlined strict, controversial provisions regarding Rothschild marriages. Four of his granddaughters married grandsons (first cousins), while one married her uncle. The practice of inbreeding continued (still practiced by Arabs and others).
During the French Revolution, Mayer profited by providing supplies for the Austrian army with coin from the British.
The Rothschild coat-of-arms includes a fist clutching five arrows, a reference to Mayer’s five sons. At the turn of the 19th century, Mayer sent his sons to establish banks in Frankfurt, Naples, Vienna, France, and London.
Carl established a close (and profitable) relationship with the notorious ruling de’Medici family. His daughter Charlotte ended up marrying his nephew Lionel, the son of Nathan.
Salomon Rothschild founded S M von Rothschild in Vienna. He played a key role in the financing of the Nordbahn rail. His daughter Betty married his brother James, in accordance with family custom.
The Paris branch was among the most successful of the family’s banking branches, due in large part to James’ close relationship with King Louis Philippe. The house where his children grew up is now part of the American Embassy.
The former Prince William of Hesse, who did business with both Amschel Moses and Mayer, assumed his father’s title in 1785. After Napoleon invaded, he fled to Denmark after entrusting Mayer with a substantial portion of his wealth. Rothschild funneled the money to Nathan in England. Nathan’s shrewd investments grew the family fortune using the sovereign’s money. Eventually he returned the principal to William.
Nathan’s wife, Hannah Cohen, was the daughter of a prominent diamond dealer, one of Nathan’s business associates. The marriage increased his business connections and profits, and he opened N M Rothschild & Sons in 1811. He would lend to both sides during wartime and having the winner cover the loser’s debt.
Nathan was the first to hear the news of Wellington’s victory over Napoleon. He sold his stock to trick others into thinking that Britain had lost so they would sell their stock cheap. His agents bought it at discount in a huge profit-making day for the family.
During years of nearly chronic warfare, this strategy was implemented across the family branches. From 500,000 pounds in 1818, the Rothschilds’ wealth rose to 4,330,333 pounds in just a decade.
Ed. Notes: People may think that vast fortunes come from hard work or smart investment but neither is key (since many people do that). What is key is being a smooth talker, getting to be the one who is an insider, a “court agent”, handed lucrative contracts and bonds.
Being an insider also makes it possible to get profitable information before others. Called “insider trading”, it is now illegal but it still goes on.
The inbreeding probably would hinder families that are not minorities.
Another key is monopoly, not just getting to be an agent of the king but also holding a monopoly on a natural resource, like a diamond mine, or on a government-granted right-of-way, like a railroad.
What it all boils down to mainly is government spending, directed a little bit into infrastructure but a tremendous amount into humanity’s’ most vicious and irrational behavior — war. While others would probably have lent to belligerent governments if the Rothschild’s had not, that the money is tainted by blood does rile some people the wrong way. Yet many more wealthy people than the Rothschilds profit from today’s military/industrial complex and wars themselves, while war has not served non-rich Jews well.
Since some people have to die and others have to kill, it seems fair that war should not make anyone else rich. Let government raise taxes on everyone’s income and savings to pay for war in real time. And let the state draft the weaponeers, too, not just the grunts who march in the field.
Wars themselves could likely become a mania of the past if we all were to live in just and prosperous societies. And the way to do that is already known — geonomics. If only knowledge could get our juices flowing as does having enemies. Perhaps it’s a matter of feeling like we deserve justice.