Excerpts: Restoring The House of Rothschild

  • “The first important strength of the family is unity,” he said. “The point I am trying to make is that today we’re one. As you sit here and you talk to me, you are talking to David, and if you talk to David you are talking to me.”
  • To that, Sir Evelyn’s French cousin added, “Never has the collaboration between the French and British Rothschilds been so good, except possibly in the very beginning.”
  • Mayer Amschel Rothschild, a coin dealer in the Jewish ghetto of Frankfurt who was born in 1744, founded both the banking business with the Rothschild name and the family traditions that would make it Europe’s leading bank in the 19th century. He decreed that only males could inherit stakes in the bank, and he impressed on his sons the importance of working loyally together as family.
  • All five sons entered the business. While Amschel stayed in Frankfurt, Nathan founded a bank in London, James a bank in Paris, Solomon a bank in Vienna, and Carl a bank in Naples. In one generation, the Rothschilds established the first international banking house — just as European wars, industrialization and imperialism were to create enormous demands for capital.
  • Europe, meanwhile, had changed. Nations financed themselves through taxes, not loans. The Rothschilds’ relationships with rulers became less exclusive, and as royal courts disappeared, less valuable. They financed Russia’s southern oilfields, but then their client, Czar Nicholas II, was killed by revolutionaries.
  • By the 1970’s, the House of Rothschild comprised three much smaller banks, N. M. Rothschild in London, Banque Rothschild in Paris, and a Swiss bank founded by the family’s most independent, and wealthiest, member, Baron Edmond de Rothschild.
  • It is thanks to David, 53, that the Rothschilds again have a bank in France. When the Government nationalized Banque Rothschild in 1981, David’s father, Baron Guy de Rothschild, bitterly left France for the United States. Barred from banking and from using the family name in business, David stayed. He started over with a shell of a company, Paris-Orleans, with four employees in a hotel suite.
  • Privatization has been a Rothschild specialty since the Thatcher administration in Britain. Indeed, last year, Rothschild offices worldwide were said to participate in the sale of 60 government businesses, more than any other investment bank.
  • Mr. Ross, of the New York offices, knows the power of the family name, because for years his operation didn’t use it. In 1982, as soon as New Court Securities became Rothschild Inc., he said with a smile, “It was much easier to get people to return your calls. Since we became Rothschild Inc., I have never been asked, ‘What is your balance sheet?'”

Source: New York Times