Tower of Basel is the first investigative history of the world’s most secretive global financial institution. Based on extensive archival research in Switzerland, Britain, and the United States, and in-depth interviews with key decision-makers including Paul Volcker, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve; Sir Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England; and former senior Bank for International Settlements managers and officials.
Tower of Basel tells the inside story of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS): the central bankers’ own bank. Created by the governors of the Bank of England and the Reichsbank in 1930, and protected by an international treaty, the BIS and its assets are legally beyond the reach of any government or jurisdiction. The bank is untouchable.
Swiss authorities have no jurisdiction over the bank or its premises. The BIS has just 140 customers but made tax-free profits of $1.17 billion in 20112012.Since its creation, the bank has been at the heart of global events but has often gone unnoticed. Under Thomas McKittrick, the bank’s American president from 19401946, the BIS was open for business throughout the Second World War. The BIS accepted looted Nazi gold, conducted foreign exchange deals for the Reichsbank, and was used by both the Allies and the Axis powers as a secret contact point to keep the channels of international finance open.
After 1945 the BIS still behind the scenes for decades provided the necessary technical and administrative support for the trans-European currency project, from the first attempts to harmonize exchange rates in the late 1940s to the launch of the Euro in 2002. It now stands at the center of efforts to build a new global financial and regulatory architecture, once again proving that it has the power to shape the financial rules of our world. Yet despite its pivotal role in the financial and political history of the last century and during the economic current crisis, the BIS has remained largely unknown until now.
©2012 Adam LeBor (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Not sure I would listen to it again, but I learned a lot and highly recommend it to anyone who believes that there are important global impact things at work in the world that are kept from us and that there are plans for the future of the planet and all of the people living here being created by people outside of our reach and without our knowledge. There are secret bankers who control the world economy and the book introduces you to them and explains the history of the bank and the people who created it and have run it for decades.
That there are actually a group of "secret" bankers that make a lot of world economic policy.
Very good job of matching the tone of his voice to the events as they unfold in the book.
When the American banker started helping the Nazi's.
In some ways, there is nothing surprising about this book because I believed this group existed. But my beliefs felt like conspiracy theories. Now I know this group of people exist and we know their names. It was like finding out that there are two people who work at the FBI named Mulder and Scully.
Whose idea was that?
This is not a novel or a play.
It's annoying and unecessary to have him put on French, German and US accents.
Will he talk like a woman if quoting one?
It is not him, it's the moron who told him him to put on different accents.
His normal voice is great.
Good book so far, aprt from the idiotic accent idea.
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