James Macdonald

James Macdonald, a former investment banker, is the author of A Free Nation Deep in Debt: The Financial Roots of Democracy.

Elephant Tears: Goldman Sachs

James Macdonald, 3 November 2011

Of all the Wall Street firms that have been attacked and hated since the financial crisis began, the one that has consistently provoked the most opprobrium is Goldman Sachs. Long before Occupy Wall Street, in July 2009, Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone called it ‘a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity’. He not only blamed Goldman for the housing bubble, but implied...

The First Hostile Takeover: S.G. Warburg

James Macdonald, 4 November 2010

The rise of S.G. Warburg & Co was the most striking feature of the postwar City. Founded by Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany in the 1940s, the bank was an awkward upstart in the closed shop of London merchant banking. Through a combination of hard work, professionalism and sheer boldness, it became one of the biggest of the merchant banks, and certainly the most dynamic. It was for a...

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