A grand, sweeping narrative of immense scope and power, the book describes a world that long ago receded from memory: the West after World War I, a time of economic fragility, of bubbles followed by busts and of a cascading series of events that led to the Great Depression ... The decision to build “Lords of Finance” around these four men is a brilliant conceit ... Because much of the book concerns decisions, for instance, to raise or lower interest rates, you need great characters to pull the story along, and Ahamed not only has them but also knows how to make them come alive ... Lords of Finance poses an unsettling question. Do we really understand the workings of that delicate machine any better than our forebears did? Or do we only think we do?
Brilliant and timely ... A mixture of compelling narrative, accessible economics and vivid insights ... Today's policymakers have learned from these dreadful mistakes, but they still have more to do to restore economic stability and bring down unemployment. They need to read this book.
Its selection as the 'most compelling and enjoyable' business book of the past year was also due to the strong parallels between the events Mr Ahamed describes and the events leading to the past two years of economic and financial turmoil.
The author injects unnecessary commentary about the bankers' neuroses and marital difficulties into his coverage of interest rate and currency fluctuations. Fortunately, his protagonists' high-wire efforts to stave off national bankruptcies furnish Ahamed with plenty of drama to highlight his engrossing analysis of the complexities of monetary policy.
Erudite, entertaining macroeconomic history of the lead-up to the Great Depression as seen through the careers of the West’s principal bankers ... Spellbinding, insightful and, perhaps most important, timely.