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The Tower of Basel

LeBor, Adam

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ISBN 10: 161039254X / ISBN 13: 9781610392549
Published by The Perseus Books Group
New Condition: New Hardcover
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About this Item

2013. 0th Edition. Hardcover. Six times a year, the world's most powerful and exclusive club meets in an unexceptional office building in Basel, Switzerland. This book tells the history of an institution that was designed to escape public scrutiny and to emphasize discretion, even as it became a leading architect of the global financial system. Num Pages: 360 pages, 8-pp. B/W insert on gloss. BIC Classification: KFFK. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 241 x 166 x 31. Weight in Grams: 608. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9781610392549

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Tower of Basel

Publisher: The Perseus Books Group

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

About this title

Synopsis:

Tower of Basel is the first investigative history of the world?s most secretive global financial institution. Based on extensive archival research in Switzerland, Britain, and the United States, and in-depth interviews with key decision-makers—including Paul Volcker, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve; Sir Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England; and former senior Bank for International Settlements managers and officials—Tower of Basel tells the inside story of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS): the central bankers? own bank.

Created by the governors of the Bank of England and the Reichsbank in 1930, and protected by an international treaty, the BIS and its assets are legally beyond the reach of any government or jurisdiction. The bank is untouchable. Swiss authorities have no jurisdiction over the bank or its premises. The BIS has just 140 customers but made tax-free profits of $1.17 billion in 2011–2012.

Since its creation, the bank has been at the heart of global events but has often gone unnoticed. Under Thomas McKittrick, the bank?s American president from 1940–1946, the BIS was open for business throughout the Second World War. The BIS accepted looted Nazi gold, conducted foreign exchange deals for the Reichsbank, and was used by both the Allies and the Axis powers as a secret contact point to keep the channels of international finance open.

After 1945 the BIS—still behind the scenes—for decades provided the necessary technical and administrative support for the trans-European currency project, from the first attempts to harmonize exchange rates in the late 1940s to the launch of the Euro in 2002. It now stands at the center of efforts to build a new global financial and regulatory architecture, once again proving that it has the power to shape the financial rules of our world. Yet despite its pivotal role in the financial and political history of the last century and during the economic current crisis, the BIS has remained largely unknown—until now.

About the Author:

Adam LeBor is an author, journalist, and literary critic based in Budapest. He writes for The Economist, The Times (London), Monocle, and numerous other publications, and also reviews books for the New York Times. He has been a foreign correspondent since 1991, covering the collapse of communism and the Yugoslav wars, and has worked in more than thirty countries. He is the author of seven critically acclaimed nonfiction books, including the ground-breaking Hitler?s Secret Bankers, and two novels. His books have been published in twelve languages.

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