With access to 10,000 letters and a wealth of previously unpublished material, Niall Ferguson’s compelling biography: High Financier: The Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg took 12 years to write. Amassing a personal fortune of a mere £2,000,000, Warburg was not an exceptionally wealthy man even by the standards of his day, in the sense of "megabucks". Deriving from an epoch where banking was stillrelationship-driven “haute banque”, rather than our era of abstract finance and sub-prime mortgages, Warburg was nevertheless master of the modern merger and “father of the Eurobond”. Warburg’s elusiveness was legendary, but so is Niall Ferguson’s acuity.

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