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In "Lords of Finance: the Bankers Who Broke the World," Liaquat Ahamed examines the events leading up to and resulted in the Great Depression by taking a look at the lives and histories of the four men who led the world's most powerful economies during that period.
Published just months after the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers, the subsequent financial crisis, and worst recession in 80 years, the Pulitzer Prize-winning book offers prescient insights into the murky world of big finance — then and now.
Ahamed, former head of the World Bank’s investment division, is no stranger to the intricacies of global financial markets himself. He joins The Takeaway to examine American distrust of financial institutions, and Wall Street in particular, which he argues is a recurrent theme in this country, dating from the time of George Washington.
Paraphrasing Mark Twain, Ahamed noted that "a banker loans you his umbrella when it’s sunny outside and wants it back when it starts to rain," pointing out that people’s distrust of bankers stems from the fact that they are liberal with credit during good times, tightening their belts during the bad times. What's not to hate?