The Financial System and War (music by Pink Floyd)
Mayer Amschel Rothschild is known as the forefather to the Rothschild banking dynasty and the "father of international finance," according to Forbes magazine. Born in Frankfurt, Germany 1744, he started out as an apprentice to the banking firm Jakob Wolf Oppenheim in Hamburg, Germany, where he excelled through the ranks and eventually became a partner. His father, Moses Amschel Bauer, a money lender and proprietor to a counting house, gave his family the name Rothschild based on the symbol used to represent his family business, the red shield, or zum roten Schild (at the sign of the red shield).
Shortly after leaving the Oppenheimer Bank to take over his father's business he established a relationship with Prince William IX, the Landgrave (heir) to the vast Hess-Kassel fortune, whom continued his father's (Frederick II) business of renting out troops to countries such as Britain to fight in various conflicts, such as the French and American Revolutions. Rothschild established a relationship with Prince William before his great inheritance; as a dealer of rare coins and trinkets which were sold to William at a discount. Although Amschel had already established business with William's predecessors through brokering the rental of Hessian (German) troops for Lt. Gen. Baron von Estorff to serve King George III in suppressing the American rebellion, this allowed him to deal directly with the monarch. In 1769, Rothschild was appointed "Crowned Agent to the Prince of Hesse-Hanau (eventually of Hesse-Kassel)." This honorary appointment would set the foundation for Rothschild's success in establishing a banking house and subsequent dynasty by his sons, and its success continues today on the same, if not greater, scale.
"Five Arrows" of Banking
Mayer Amschel Rothschild died in September of 1812. He reportedly left his fortune of 5 Billion Francs to his sons. The Rothschilds were now in the business of loaning money to nations, which proved to be highly profitable due to the security of the loan's repayment. During times of war, the Rothschilds would lend to a nation and its enemy, which the victor would pay off the loan of the defeated nation, making the investment highly secure and profitable. During this period the "5 Arrows" of the Rothschild banking dynasty were already well established. This consisted of Mayer Amschel Rothschild's 5 sons; Nathan, who ran the London bank; James (Jakob) went to Paris; Karl (Kalmann) headed Naples; Salomon to Vienna; and Amschel (or Anselm) in Berlin. The sons fulfilled their promise and instructions by their father to establish a European banking powerhouse; N.M. Rothschild & Sons. The following are instructions that Mayer gave his sons through his will:
1) All key positions in the family business are only to be held by family members.
2) Only male members of the family are allowed to participate in the family business.
3) The family is to intermarry with its' first and second cousins to preserve the family fortune.
4) No public inventory of his estate is to be published.
5) No legal action is to be taken with regard to the value of the inheritance.
6) The eldest son is to become the head of the family (this condition could only be overturned when the majority of the family agreed otherwise).
One of the family's greatest advantages was that they consulted each partner (brother) before making any significant decision, and another is that they had the fastest courier system to relay information; even that superior to the British Army. Their banking system allowed them the freedom to avoid shipping actual coin between locations, as they would communicate payments via courier and account for credits and debits accordingly. This ultimately created, or at least fueled the pathway to the paper money system that we depend on today.