Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The House of Rothschild and the Rise of International Finance

The most famous banking house in history and the enduring symbol of
international finance, investment banking, and trans-Jewish intrigue, the
House of Rothschild (HR) of Frankfurt, Germany, rose to economic power in
the nineteenth century, with branches throughout Europe. “The key aspect of
the HR operational strategy,” notes Sam Lehman-Wilzig, “was secrecy … The
extent to which [the Rothschilds] followed this strategy [of secrecy] bordered
on the incredible. To this day their records have not been made public.” [LEHMAN-
WILZIG, p. 254] “By the mid- [nineteenth] century,” writes Benjamin
Ginsberg, “the entire European state system was dependent upon the international
financial networks dominated by the Rothschilds.” [GINSBERG, B.,
1993, p. 18] “Instances occurred,” notes Howard Sachar, “in which the Rothschilds
demonstrably altered the course of international politics.” [SACHAR,
p. 137] Its quick reversal of political allegiance, national loyalties, and attendant
financing is noted by Hannah Arendt:
“It took the French Rothschilds in 1848 hardly twenty-four hours to
transfer their services from the government of Louis Philippe to the new
short-lived French Republic and again to Napoleon III.” [ARENDT,
p. 24]

The vast empire of the Rothschilds alone evoked growing non-Jewish
resentment. Arendt rhetorically wonders, “Where, indeed, was there better
proof of the fantastic concept of a world Jewish government than in this one
family, the Rothschilds, nationals of five different countries, prominent everywhere,
in close cooperation with at least three different governments (French,
Austrian, British), whose frequent conflicts never for a moment shook the solidarity
at interest of their state bankers? No propaganda could have created a
symbol more effective for political purposes than reality itself.” [SACHAR,
p. 136]

For many historians, the House of Rothschild is seminal in the examination
of the rise of international capitalism. The Rothschilds may be even understood
as the very prototype for the modern multinational corporation. “Considering
HR’s dual policy of economic expansion and aid to their Jewish brethren,” notes
Sam Lehman-Wilzig, “comparison to modern TNOs [transnational organizations]
are especially intriguing … [LEHMAN-WILZIG, p. 260] … In those territories
where the firm was already established, the [Rothschild] brothers used
their presence with its concomitant financial importance for the area as an
umbrella under which other Jews could be harmed only at risk of HR retribution.”
[LEHMAN-WILZIG, p. 255] “Along with love of business,” added Joel
Kotkin in 1993, “the Rothschilds [still] remain united by another, larger vocation,
one extending beyond business, family, and even nation – the vocation of
being Jews.” [KOTKIN, p. 16]

The Rothschild banking concerns, however, were far from the only ones.
Major Jewish investment banking organizations across Europe included those
of the Seligmans, Oppenheimers, Habers, Speyers, Warburgs, Mendelssohns,
Bleichroders, Eskeles, Arnsteins, Montagus, Goldsmids, Hambros, Sassoons,
and others. The Jewish international banking network that floated state loans
to finance European industry and railroads was wide: the five Rothschild brothers
were in London, Paris, Vienna, Frankfort, and Naples. The Bleichroders
were based in Berlin, the Warburgs in Hamburg, the Oppenheims in Cologne,
the Sassoons in Bombay, the Guenzburgs in St. Petersburg. Jews were also
influential in the creation of influential joint stock and commercial banks
including two of Germany’s largest – the Deutsche Bank and the Dresdner
Bank, as well as Crédit Mobilier, Banque de Paris, Banca Commerciale Italiana,
Credito Italiano, Creditanstalt-Bankverein, Banque de Bruxelles,
among others. [KREFETZ, p. 46]

“There was, by the end of the nineteenth century,” notes Chaim Bermant,
“hardly a financial centre where Jewish bankers did not enjoy a position of considerable
prominence. In Brussels there was the house of Bischoffsheim, and
also Errers, Oppenheim and Stern who combined with Sulzbach and May of
Frankfurt to form the Banque de Bruxelles, in 1821. In Switzerland Isaac Dreyfus
and Sons participated in the formation of the Basler Handelsbank and the
Basler Bankverein. In Holland there was Wertheimer and Gompertz and the
house of Lissa and Kann. The Hungarian General Credit Bank of Budapest was
of Jewish creation as were the Hungarian Commercial Bank and the Hungarian
Hypothecary Credit Bank. In St. Petersburg the Guenzburg families established
the Discount and Credit Bank as well as the Bank of St. Petersburg. The
Warsaw Discount Bank was founded in 1871 by Mieczystaw Epstein, and
Leopold Kronenberg took part in the formation of the Warsaw Credit Union as
well as the Bank Hadlowy; but it was London, until World War I the banking
capital of the world, which saw the largest concentration of Jewish financial talent
[Rothschilds, Hambros, Speyers, Erlangers, Cassels, Sassoons, Hirschs,
etc.].” [BERMANT, C., 1977, p. 40]

Louis Frankel was “one of the most important financiers in Sweden;” Isaac
Gluckstadt was “one of the most famous financiers in Denmark.” Maurice
Blank founded what became the “the second largest bank in Romania and the
largest privately owned bank in the country.” Ernest Cassel “established the
National Bank of Egypt.” [GREENBERG, M., p. 68-70] Maurice de Hirsch
“helped place the first Turkish loan in Paris in 1854 and had, jointly, with the
Ottoman bank, helped to establish the Crédit Général Ottoman in Constantinople,
both of which gave him invaluable Turkish contacts.” [BERMANT, C.,
1977, p. 43] “The first international bank [that] opened in Germany was
founded by a Marrano, Diego Teixera de Mattos in Hamburg … [By] the middle
of the eighteenth century … the Pintos, Delmontes, Bueno de Mesquita and
Francis Mels of Amsterdam were the leading financiers of northern Europe.”
[OSBORNE, S., 1939, p. 15]

In the United State, between 1840 and 1880, important Jewish banking
firms that developed included those of August Belmont, Goldman Sachs,
J.W. Seligman, Kuhn Loeb, Ladenburg Thalmann, Lazard Frères, Lehman
Brothers, Speyer, and Wertheim. “Jewish bankers,” notes Gerald Krefetz, “pro-
jected an image of concentrated power because they often acted in concert, collaborating on financial deals.” [KREFETZ, p. 47]

From the book When Victims Rule: A Critique of Jewish Preeminence in America , pp. 142-4.

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