Thursday, June 14, 2007

Baron Guy de Rothschild, 1909-2007

Continuing with the obits theme, a long-time head of the French Rothschild bank died the other day.

I'm not sure this is the end of an era exactly--perhaps it's long over, and perhaps it lives on--but there's something interesting at work here nonetheless. The Rothschilds in France were once conversant with heads of industry. Baron Guy, as he was apparently known, once prominently employed George Pompidou, who later succeeded de Gaulle to the French presidency. North of the English Channel, the British branch of the family bankrolled the expansion of the British Empire for decades.

The Rothschilds were and perhaps are, thus, forefathers of the economic and financial globalisation of our own time. Love them or hate them (Baron Guy seems to have been rather enjoyable company), one should take note.
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