For most of the nineteenth century, N M Rothschild was part of the biggest bank in the world which dominated the international bond market. For a contemporary equivalent, one has to imagine a merger between Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, J P Morgan and probably Goldman Sachs too – as well, perhaps, as the International Monetary Fund, given the nineteen-century Rothschild’s role in stabilising the finances of numerous governments.

Niall Ferguson

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