Peter Mandelson, UK Eminence Grise par excellence, and currently Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills (but who knows where he will end up?), was the keynote speaker at the event (nice work if you can get it - or maybe it's all part of his job?).
Lionel Barber presenting the award said of the Lords of Finance "A brilliant book, which brings to life the 1920s and the role of its great public servants in trying, but ultimately failing, to manage the world financial system. A must for anyone who wants to understand economics.”
These four most powerful financiers on the planet attempted after the First World War to fix global finances but ended up destroying it instead. When it was too late to stop what they had done Montagu Norman concluded that they had achieved “absolutely nothing.”
Liaquat Ahamed argues that “The Great Depression was not some act of God or the result of some deep-rooted contradictions of capitalism but the direct result of a series of misjudgments by economic policymakers, some made back in the 1920s, others after the first crises set in -- by any measure the most dramatic sequence of collective blunders ever made by financial officials.”
The book is not as dry as it sounds and is in fact highly readable and all the more relevant given the current financial turmoil so a fine Christmas present for anyone interested in the murky world of high finance - The Lords of Finance
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