Niall Ferguson on High Financier

2010 Henry Kaufman Lecture/Symposia Series

Niall Ferguson on <i>High Financier</i>

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 | 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM

Join us for the first event in the Fall 2010 Kaufman Series with a talk by bestselling author Niall Ferguson on his new book, High Financier: The Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg. In this path-breaking new biography, based on more than 10,000 hitherto unavailable letters and diary entries, Ferguson reveals for the first time the true extent of Warburg's influence – and the lessons we can learn in a time of crisis from the last of the high financiers.

A refugee from Hitler's Germany, Warburg rose to become the dominant figure in the postwar City of London and one of the architects of European financial integration. Seared by the near collapse and then "Aryanization" of his family's long-established bank in the 1930s and then frustrated by the stagnation of its Wall Street sister, Kuhn Loeb, in the 1950s, Warburg resolved that his own firm of S. G. Warburg (founded in 1946) would be different.

An obsessive perfectionist with an aversion to excessive risk, Warburg came to embody the ideals of the haute banquet - high finance - always eschewing the fast buck in favor of gilt-edged advice. He was not only the master of the modern merger and founder of the eurobond; he was also a key behind-the-scenes adviser to governments in London, Tokyo and Jerusalem. Like a character from a Thomas Mann novel, Warburg was a complex and ambivalent man, as much a psychologist, politician and actor-manager as he was a banker. In High Financier Ferguson shares the first book-length examination of a man whose life and work suggest an alternative to the troubled business principles that helped shape our current financial landscape.

About the Author
Niall Ferguson is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, a Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford University, and a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. The bestselling author of The War of the World and The Ascent of Money, he also writes regularly for newspapers and magazines all over the world. Since 2003 he has written and presented four highly-successful television documentary series for British television: "Empire," "American Colossus," "The War of the World," and most recently "The Ascent of Money." He is a Trustee of the Museum of American Finance.

Presentation will be followed by Q&A, reception and book signing. Reservations required. Admission is free for students and Museum members, or $15 for non-members. For additional information, please contact Lindsay Seeger at 212-908-4110 or

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