“HIGH FINANCIER”: NIALL FERGUSON BOOK ON SIEGMUND WARBURG

July 4, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Posted in Books, Financial, Germany, Globalization, History, Research, United Kingdom | Leave a comment

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High Financier: The Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg

Niall Ferguson (Author)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Siegmund Warburg (1902–1982), scion of a Jewish banking dynasty, fled Nazi Germany to London, where he became a leading banker and an informal economic adviser to prime ministers—but his importance doesn’t shine through this unfocused biography. Financial historian Ferguson (The Ascent of Money) styles him a financial innovator (he engineered Britain’s first hostile takeover), a pioneer of European economic integration (he helped invent the Eurobond), a prophet of globalization, a paragon of fiscal rectitude whose principles could have helped us avoid the current economic mess, and a deep thinker about international affairs. Unfortunately, Ferguson doesn’t make a compelling argument for his subject’s significance. Laymen will find his sketchy treatment of Warburg’s feats of high finance rather opaque and his case for Warburg the humanist and intellectual weak (and undermined by his subject’s obsession with handwriting analysis). Ferguson uses Warburg’s life as a window onto European unification and Britain’s postwar economic malaise, but his account, which is constantly distracted by deal making and office politics at Warburg’s banking partnership, is too unsystematic to do these topics justice. The view from Warburg’s lofty perch doesn’t make for a discerning perspective on the world around him. (July)

Product Description:

Bestselling author Niall Ferguson reveals for the first time the true extent of Siegmund Warburg’s influence-and the lessons we can learn in a time of crisis from the last of the high financiers.

“Success from the financial and from the prestige point of view . . . is not enough; what matters even more is . . . adherence to high moral and aesthetic standards.”
-Siegmund Warburg, 1959

In this pathbreaking new biography, based on more than ten thousand hitherto unavailable letters and diary entries, bestselling author Niall Ferguson returns to his roots as a financial historian to tell the story of Siegmund Warburg, an extraordinary man whose austere philosophy of finance offers much insight today.

A refugee from Hitler’s Germany, Warburg rose to become the dominant figure in 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-to his critics, a “financial Rasputin.” 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 Niall 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.

Product Details:

· Hardcover: 576 pages

· Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The

· June 24, 2010

· Language: English

· ISBN-10: 159420246X

· ISBN-13: 978-1594202469

High Financier: The Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg

Niall Ferguson (Author)

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“MARITIME ECONOMICS”: MARTIN STOPFORD BOOK

July 4, 2010 at 8:27 am | Posted in Books, Economics, Financial, Research, Science & Technology | Leave a comment

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Maritime Economics 3rd edition

Martin Stopford (Author)

Editorial Reviews

The book starts out with a historical overview of the shipping industry (lengthier than the 2nd edition of this book) then presents chapters on the organization of the shipping market, shipping market cycles, shipping markets by different categories of vessel (and the cargoes they handle), financial flows, industry financing and insurance, risk, geographic markets, the markets for ships (both new and second hand) as well as for vessels for scrapping, and legal and regulatory structures. All of these are covered very well and provide an excellent overview through 2007 (i.e., just before the shipping bust of 2008). It should be stressed that the book is intended to provide a macro view of the industry as opposed to a micro view (i.e., discussing how vessels are run on a day to day basis). For a good overview of how ships are run on a day to day basis Kendall‘s “The Business of Shipping” is highly recommended. Although the book is out of print and was published in 2001, it give an excellent overview of bunkering, how cargoes are handled, manifests, etc. Hence it is an excellent supplement to Stopford’s Maritime Economics. Last but not least, Maritime Economics presents many facts that are very difficult to research and find data on as data sources in the shipping industry, unlike most industries, is not that readily available. This is due to the fact that the industry is characterized by privately held companies. Examples of such research includes tables showing breakdowns of vessel costs by labor, fuel, capital costs, etc., depreciation tables, etc. Much of this data is for particular classes of vessel (i.e., panamax cargo vessels, cape tankers, etc.).

Review

‘This is a splendid book, well illustrated, with plenty of technical explanation as to the hardware employed by this fascinating industry. It deserves to be at the elbow of all those who pretend to any knowledge of the amazing maritime world we cheerfully inhabit.’ Michael Grey, Lloyd’s List

Product Description

For 5000 years shipping has served the world economy and today it provides a sophisticated transport service to every part of the globe. Yet despite its economic complexity, shipping retains much of the competitive cut and thrust of the “perfect” market of classical economics. This blend of sophisticated logistics and larger than life entrepreneurs makes it a unique case study of classical economics in a modern setting.

The enlarged and substantially rewritten Maritime Economics uses historical and theoretical analysis as the framework for a practical explanation of how shipping works today. Whilst retaining the structure of the second edition, its scope is widened to include:

– Lessons from 5000 years of commercial shipping history
– Shipping cycles back to 1741, with a year by year commentary
– Updated chapters on markets; shipping costs; accounts; ship finance and a new chapter on the return on capital
– New chapters on the geography of sea trade; trade theory and specialised cargoes
– Updated chapters on the merchant fleet shipbuilding, recycling and the regulatory regime
– A much revised chapter on the challenges and pitfalls of forecasting

With over 800 pages, 200 illustrations, maps, technical drawings and tables Maritime Economics is the shipping industry’s most comprehensive text and reference source, whilst remaining as one reviewer put it “a very readable book”.

Martin Stopford has enjoyed a distinguished career in the shipping industry as Director of Business Development with British Shipbuilders, Global Shipping Economist with the Chase Manhattan Bank N.A., Chief Executive of Lloyds Maritime Information Services; Managing Director of Clarkson Research Services and an executive Director of Clarksons PLC. He lectures regularly at Cambridge Academy of Transport and is a Visiting Professor at Cass Business School, Dalian MaritimeUniversity and Copenhagen Business School.

Product Details:

· Paperback: 840 pages

· Publisher: Routledge; 3 edition

· February 17, 2009

· Language: English

· ISBN-10: 041527558X

· ISBN-13: 978-0415275583

Maritime Economics 3rd edition

Martin Stopford (Author)

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