All I know about the history of financial institutions I learned from reading Ron Chernow’s The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance — fantastic well-researched book that was fun to read, even for someone who previously had no interest in banking/finance.
So i think it’d be good for me to learn more.
Here’s an excerpt from the review from The Economist:
A year that has seen the emasculation of America’s brokerages may not seem the ideal time to reflect on what made the erstwhile industry leader great. But, amid the torrent of negative news, Charles Ellis’s exhaustively researched history of Goldman Sachs paints a convincing picture of an institution that has got most of the important things right. It is an organisation America can be proud of, even as it is forced to reinvent itself to survive.
I’ll have to add this to my very long list of books to read.
And by the way, Ron Chernow’s books are all fantastic — I highly recommend Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. and I’d also like to read Alexander Hamilton, The Warburgs: The Twentieth-Century Odyssey of a Remarkable Jewish Family, and The Death of the Banker: The Decline and Fall of the Great Financial Dynasties and the Triumph of the Small Investor.