Prof. Jayanth R. Varma’s Financial Markets Blog

A blog on financial markets and their regulation

Barings, Rothschild and Morgan

During the last three centuries, four investment banks have dominated global finance at one point or the other:

  • Hope & Co. (the Hopes of Amsterdam/Rotterdam) during the 18th century and early 19th century;
  • Barings in the late 18th and early 19th centuries;
  • Rothschilds in the 19th century; and
  • JP Morgan in the first half of the 20th century.

After World War II, no investment bank has dominated global finance in a way even remotely comparable to these four. (No, not even the “great vampire squid”). I used Google’s Books Ngram Viewer to see how common were references to these banks in the books of different countries at different points of time. I dropped Hope & Co. because it hardly registered in the graphs.

There are some limitations in the results. I entered “Rothschilds” in the plural to avoid picking up references to other people with this not uncommon German surname. But this means that I am not catching references to Nathan Rothschild for example. Morgan is an even more common surname, and I had to use JP Morgan to avoid contaminating the results. On the flip side, I am losing references to Pierpont Morgan or the House of Morgan. Finally, despite using a three-year smoothing in the graphs, publication of books on any of these banks leads to spikes which should not be taken too seriously. Also, the scale of the vertical axis is not the same across the graphs.

With all these limitations, the graphs below tell an interesting story. First, the books lagged behind the financial reality often by several decades, particularly in the earlier years. Second, high-profile (and sometimes quasi-political) events like the Barings’ involvement in the Louisiana purchase of 1803, or JP Morgan’s involvement in the panic of 1907, or Nick Leeson’s fraud at Barings in 1995 are reflected in a disproportionate coverage in the books (often after a lag).

Third (and most puzzling), Rothschild dominates British and German literature while JP Morgan dominates the French. I would think that the Rothschild branch in Paris was at least as important as the branches in London and Vienna. I am baffled by the surge in the coverage of JP Morgan in the French books well before the panic of 1907, and well before the surge of this American bank in American books.

Barings, Rothschild and Morgan in British English books 1700-2000
Graph of Barings Rothschild and Morgan in British books

Barings, Rothschild and Morgan in American English books 1700-2000
Graph of Barings Rothschild and Morgan in American books

Barings, Rothschild and Morgan in English books 1700-2000
Graph of Barings Rothschild and Morgan in English books

Barings, Rothschild and Morgan in French books 1700-2000
Graph of Barings Rothschild and Morgan in French books

Barings, Rothschild and Morgan in German books 1700-2000
Graph of Barings Rothschild and Morgan in German books

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One response to “Barings, Rothschild and Morgan

  1. THECAT333 September 14, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    ARE LORD JACOB ROTHSCHILD AND SIR EVELYN DE ROTHSCHILD INVOLVED IN THE ARGENTINEAN CRISIS ?

    ” How Citibank and JP MORGAN Crafted Argentina’s Shock Therapy Program, January 2006
    Link in Spanish http://lavaca.org/seccion/actualidad/1/1268.shtml
    In this interview with the Lavaca Collective, historian Alejandro Olmos Gaona reveals that the banks JP MORGAN and Citibank wrote Argentina’s shock therapy program. Accoreding to Gaona, the economic plan mandated, “ the privatization of utilities, the labor law reform, the privatization of the pension system. It is all laid out with great attention to detail…. one believes that the economic plan pursued since 1992 was Domingo Cavallo’s creation, but that’s not the way it is.”
    ” Interview with Domingo Cavallo, January 2002
    Link http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/shared/minitextlo/int_domingocavallo.html
    Argentina’s former Economy Minister discusses the impact of Argentina’s shock therapy measures, stating that 700,000 workers were fired during this period. ”
    http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine/resources/part3/chapter8
    ” JPMORGAN Chase has an International Council which provides advice to the bank’s leadership on economic, political and social trends across various regions and around the world. The International Council is chaired by TONY BLAIR, former Prime Minister of the UK, who also sits as an adviser to Zurich Financial. ” http://www.occupy.com/article/global-power-project-part-4-banking-influence-jpmorgan-chase
    THE BLAIR’S FAMILY HAS FRIENDSHIPS WITH THE FAMILY OF LORD JACOB ROTHSCHILD. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_Rothschild,_4th_Baron_Rothschild
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/6672904/Roman-Polanski-will-be-too-late-to-complete-his-film.html
    “Tony Blair. Illegitimate Son Of Jacob Rothschild….Evidence”
    http://the-tap.blogspot.com/2012/06/can-you-spot-it.html
    TONY BLAIR IS ALSO A FRIEND OF SIR EVELYN DE ROTHSCHILD AND OF HIS WIFE . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evelyn_Robert_de_Rothschild
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1138789/Now-Tony-Blairs-finally-got-private-jet-hes-wanted-rented.html
    NOW WE MUST NOTICE A STRANGE COINCIDENCE:” TONY BLAIR A GREAT FRIEND OF LORD JACOB ROTHSCHILD AND ALSO GREAT FRIEND OF SIR EVELYN DE ROTHSCHILD AND “CASUALLY” HE FOUND A GOOD PLACE IN THE BANK JP MORGAN”. http://waronyou.com/forums/index.php?topic=25529.0
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/05/28/heckler-brands-tony-blair-a-war-criminal-over-jpmorgan-payments/
    http://landdestroyer.blogspot.de/2012/05/protester-calls-tony-blair-war-criminal.html
    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/celebritymoney/article-2167655/Former-PM-Tony-Blair-alleged-earned-80million-2007.html
    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/news/article-2167038/Tony-Blair-earned-20m-just-year-advising-business-bosses-foreign-governments.html
    ” New York’s Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Aug. 23 that Argentina must pay $1.33 billion to the two predatory vulture funds—NML Capital and Aurelius—that bought up that nation’s debt prior to its 2001 default, at pennies on the dollar, and then demanded payment of the full face value of those bonds after default.
    The Circuit Court’s ruling was a scandalous assertion of the vulture funds’ “rights” to loot Argentina, paying scant attention to the legal merits of the case, but rather fulminating against Argentina as a “uniquely recalcitrant debtor” which hadn’t shown proper respect for the killer vultures. ”
    ” Speaking for the three-judge panel, Circuit Judge Barrington Parker, nominated to the court by G.W. BUSH, rejected Argentina’s predictions of economic disaster, in the event of a ruling against it. “What the consequences predicted by Argentina have in common is that they are speculative, hyperbolic and almost entirely of the republic’s own making.” http://larouchepac.com/node/27873
    BUSH IS ALSO LINKED WITH BLAIR AND CONSEQUENTLY WITH LORD JACOB ROTHSCHILD AND SIR EVELYN DE ROTHSCHILD.
    “David Mills was subsequently charged with money laundering and tax crimes (indicted July 2006) as a cohort of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, an ally of the Cheney-Blair-Bush war axis.”
    http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?s=84166c82fef5a2fbae7d42a3466e0190&showtopic=9094&page=3

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