A Man of Influence: The Extraordinary Career of S.G. Warburg

Jacques Attali, Author Adler & Adler Publishers $22.5 (380p) ISBN 978-0-917561-36-8
This engrossing biography of the head of the venerable German-British Warburg banking dynasty topped last year's French bestseller list, thanks largely to the byline of social economist Attali, a close adviser to President Mitterand. The author traces the history of the Warburgs' ancestors, money lenders in North Africa and Italy before they moved to Germany in 1520, where they achieved the status of international investment bankers. His main focus, however, is on Siegmund (S. G.) Warburg, a frustrated politician, trained in the family's American branch, who plied his trade in the years of economic upheaval before, during and after World War II. In 1933, Siegmund fled Nazi Germany for London; after acting as a wartime financier to the Allies, he developed a global banking and monetary system. An adviser to heads of state, Siegmund is credited with invention of the Eurobond and development of the hostile corporate takeover. But money was not an end in itself for Siegmund, according to the author; it was a toolthe by-product of a successful deal. His main ambition until his death in 1982 remained the restoration of the Warburg family name and influence.(August 15)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
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