39-BOER WARS

 

The story of the City in London is all about gold. Mayer was the founder of international banking because he was the first banker to use gold as it was meant to be used. According to him, gold was not meant to be spent, it was meant to be mined, purchased, and then stockpiled in a secure location for all time. The one who had most of the gold ever mined, could easily control any monetary system at hand. Mayer started the Bank of America in 1781 with around 500 metric tons of French gold. After his real estate scam in France starting in 1789, he managed to funnel another 5000 tons of French gold to the City. In 1810, his son was setting the daily price of gold worldwide from his offices in the City. Nathan had perhaps as much as 7000 metric tons of gold under his control, close to half the gold ever produced at that time. He held most of England’s debt, and was effectively in charge of the English monetary system.

In 1812, Nathan sent Napoleon to Russia in order to force the Tsar to let private interests mine for gold in the Urals, which was a determining moment in our history. Thanks to the French engineers from l’École des Mines de Paris, placer deposit gold mining techniques were refined, and the City focused its attention on gold production.

There was the California gold rush of 1848, and when hard rock mining was made possible in the 1880’s, gold production skyrocketed. Paper money went to the miner, and gold went to the one who printed the paper, the City. As gold was stockpiled by the City, the paper it backed, whether in America or England, became as good as gold. There have never been losers, for the miners get paid the world price set in the City, and Mayer’s dynasty stockpiles the gold and creates more credit.

The total production of gold to date is estimated at around 200000 metric tons. The gold used in jewellery, industry, and dentistry, combined with the token amounts of gold on display in the various Central Banks of Germany, Italy, France, USA, China, Russia etc., probably accounts for around 75000 metric tons. When all is said and done, most gold is held in the form of ETF’s, Exchange-Traded Funds, and though it is impossible to know, there’s at least 100000 metric tons of gold bullion unaccounted for and stockpiled somewhere.

The Boer Wars are forgotten wars, but if one analyzes and correlates the dates and circumstances surrounding the discovery of gold and diamonds in South Africa and the wars that were fought in that country, it becomes clear that they were all about controlling the production of those two precious commodities. In 1879, the British had managed to put an end to the Zulu military might, and in 1880, had declared the South African Republic to be an English possession. But in 1881, the Boers, mainly Dutch white settlers, badly defeated the British troops and forced them to go home. In 1899, this time, with the help of several Commonwealth countries, Britain came back to fight the Boers, and after heavy casualties on all sides, Commonwealth, African and Boer, the British finally prevailed in 1902. The British unilaterally changed the name of South African Republic to Union of South Africa in 1909, while declaring it to be a dominion of the British Empire. Since then, South Africa has produced a disproportionate percentage of the world’s gold, along with most of its diamonds, and continues to do s

36-CIVIL WAR

Once the borders of America were permanently drawn, there was still a lot of work to be done. The southern agricultural economy was out of sync with the rest of the country, and while the City wanted it to join the vibrant market economy of the northern states, the south was talking secession. Geopolitically, there was no question of letting it secede, not to mention the fact that it had huge oil reserves. Industry needed oil and the City wasn’t about to let a few country gentlemen destroy its masterpiece, America. The south’s old structures had to be destroyed, but the problem was how to start the civil war. The south was not about to attack the north, for it didn’t have the means and didn’t have to. All it had to do was stay put and secede. So, if something was to be done, it was up to the North. As it so happened, slavery was a hot issue in the north, and the City backed the candidacy of Abraham Lincoln, a staunch advocate for National Union and racial equality. It was rather easy to get the northerners worked up over the issue of slavery, and they declared war the minute the south seceded from the Union. Slavery was the pretext but not the real issue, for history has shown that the north is every bit as racist as the south. That’s why when Abraham Lincoln declared war on the south in 1861, he clearly stated that it was to preserve the Union. That was the truth, and it was precisely what the City wanted.

At first, it seemed that Abraham Lincoln was doing the City’s bidding, and, presuming he was assassinated for political reasons, we could ask ourselves why the bankers wanted to get rid of him, if such was the case. Some say it was because, in 1862, in wanting to pay for the war, Lincoln had Congress pass the Legal Tender Act, thus giving Congress the right to print interest-free money. However, because the greenback had so little success, it was likely not the real reason. We don’t know whether the City printed counterfeit greenbacks in order to flood the market, or whether it directed its defunct First Bank of the United States not to accept them, but the end result was that the greenback was not well accepted and quickly depreciated. In 1863, Lincoln had had no choice but to reverse his position and sign the National Bank Act. Even though the greenbacks remained legal tender, the law re-established the status of the dollar, thus voiding the Legal Tender Act. So why, if such was the case, have Lincoln assassinated when the interest-free money problem no longer existed?

A plausible explanation for his assassination would be to say that Lincoln was just too nice a guy. We can be sure that the City had wanted to replace the archaic social structures of the Old south after the war, for that had been the whole purpose of the war. But because Lincoln wanted to let the southerners rebuild their lives as they saw fit, and since his only requirement was to have the southerners swear allegiance to the Union, he had to be stopped. The domino theory, where the establishment players do what they’re paid to do, played out, and someone, who wanted to do what was best for America, proceeded to do just that. After winning the 1864 election by a landslide, Lincoln was assassinated on April 14th, 1865. The carpetbaggers, most of them lawyers and businessmen loaded with cash, were immediately unleashed, taking the south by storm. They purchased the abandoned lands, opened businesses and banks, constructed railroads, and last but not least, started running the local governments. America was now officially the United States of America.

35-MEXICAN-AMERICAN WAR, 1846

Establishing the US-Mexican border was done in two stages. The City first helped the Mexicans achieve their independence from Spain in 1821 by having the US and England give them a hand. The Mexican-American War of 1846 was the second stage. That’s when Lionel, Head of Mayer’s dynasty in the City, decided to get the US Congress to send an expedition of US troops to Mexico. It was a simple plan. Congress would send US troops to occupy Mexico City in order to force Mexico to relinquish its claims with regards to Texas and other parts of the south. The troops would remain there until the Mexicans cried uncle, and signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

The treaty called for the U.S. to pay $15 million to Mexico and to pay off the claims of American citizens against Mexico up to $3.25 million. It gave the United States the Rio Grande as a boundary for Texas, and gave the U.S. ownership of California and a large area comprising roughly half of New Mexico, most of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado. Mexicans in those annexed areas were ordered to be removed from their homeland unless they declared loyalty to the US government. Over 90% chose to pledge loyalty in exchange for not losing their homes.

The border keeping the French Catholics and the English Loyalists north of the 49th parallel was defined by the Oregon Treaty of 1846. After drawing a straight line along the 49th parallel in the north, and another along the Rio Grande extending to the Pacific Ocean in the south, the Manifest Destiny concept became a reality. America was a white, English-speaking and Protestant country from coast to coast, with Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. The US Spanish speaking population chose to become Americans, and the recalcitrant Indians were relocated on reserves.

In America, the first locomotive was built in 1830, but transportation remained limited to steam boats, canals, rudimentary roads and short rail systems east of the Mississippi. The Oregon Trail had become a very primitive way to go west after the Louisiana Purchase, but that didn’t favor California. Now that the Spanish administration and troops were on their way back to Spain, Lionel, head of the City banking dynasty, found the ideal way to populate California with ‘Americans’. He had been waiting for this moment to start a gold rush. He had known there was gold in California, and since the telegraph had been clicking away throughout America and Europe since 1844, it was just a matter of letting everybody know there was a lot of gold waiting to be picked up off the ground in California. Some 300 000 individuals moved in, easily displacing, when not massacring, the native populations, and overwhelming the Catholic Spanish speaking population. California went straight into statehood. As a bonus, close to 4000t of gold was produced, bought up, and stockpiled in the City’s vaults.

34-WAR OF 1812

The media did prove to be the powerful force that it was meant to be, but it wouldn’t have happened as quickly and worked as efficiently if the City had not consistently maintained its control of the American monetary system.

When Mayer’s son, Nathan, opened his bank in the City in 1810 and started setting the price of gold for the whole world, that’s when the seeds of globalization were sown. As of that moment, the American monetary system and that of England were controlled by one man, notwithstanding the fact that there was a lot of opposition to central banking in America.

In 1810, the year before the charter for the 1st Bank of the United States was to run out, hostility to private banking in the US was on the rise. Under the influence of hot-heads like Andrew Jackson, James Madison finally agreed not to renew the bank’s charter in 1811. Back in 1810, Nathan Rothschild had seen the problem coming and had issued an ultimatum: “Either the application for the renewal of the charter is granted, or the United States will find itself involved in a most disastrous war.” Madison and Jackson did not realize that the power of the ‘international moneylenders’ could extend that far, and they didn’t alter course. After declaring that he would teach the impudent Americans a lesson and bring them back to colonial status if they didn’t renew the bank charter, he proceeded to do just that.

Around 1812, the English Navy started harassing the American merchant marine by impressing 10 000 American sailors into her Majesty’s service. It was an intolerable situation, and President James Madison was forced to declare war on the English, a war he could ill afford, especially, since officially, Nathan’s bank, the 1st Bank of the United States, no longer existed. Nathan’s plan was to force the United States to fight a war and sink them deeply into debt. After the US declared war against England on June 18, 1812, the English military forces moved into Canada.

The English kept close to the waterways. They went up the St. Lawrence and the great lakes right up to Fort Erie and Detroit. They went up the Richelieu River to Lake Champlain, and blockaded all the ports they could along the Atlantic coast as well. All in all, it was a small war of attrition that cost the Americans dearly. When the English burned down Washington DC on August 24, 1814, it was a determining moment. The Treaty of Ghent was signed on December 24, 1814, and the US Senate ratified it on February 16, 1815. All territory went back to its original owners, and there wasn’t much mention of anything else of importance. The real results were unofficial and never linked with that treaty. The 20-year charter for the 2nd Bank of the United States was signed on April 10, 1816. And since the President’s residence in Washington DC had been burned down, it would now be known as the White House because of the white paint used to cover the traces of the recent fire. Lastly, the people of Upper and Lower Canada had a new sense of identity.

When the second charter for the 1st Bank of the United States came up for renewal in 1836, President Andrew Jackson vetoed it. If the City, contrary to 1812, didn’t insist on getting the charter renewed at this time, it was because of the possibility of making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. After completing the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the West had naturally opened up. Now, in 1836, thirty years later, the City bankers decided it was time to let America expand at breakneck speed, a period that would become known as the Wildcat Banking Years.

The modus operandi was simple. During the period of 1836 to 1863, ambitious men of all kinds would open banks, claim land, prospect for gold, drill for oil, and do all the hard work generally. The frenetic development that ensued was like riding a bronco, it was definitely wild, but it was OK because the rodeo was taking place in a controlled corral. In other words, the dollar used by the defunct but still operating 1st Bank of the United States and its affiliates on the east coast was tied to the English pound which was tied to gold, and all the funny money being printed in the emerging American States had to be more or less pegged to the dollar. The shinplasters, as the state currencies were called, were meant to fail just like the Continental currency had during the War of Independence. When the time came and everybody cried for more financial stability, the dollar would again be officially re-instated throughout the country.

In 1863, Congress passed the Banking Laws Act, and the dollar became the official currency in all the States. Key industries working in the US dollar financial zone had prospered, and their tentacles reached across the entire nation. The oil industry, the railroads, the steel industry and industrial America generally, were run by men like Westinghouse, Carnegie, Morgan, Rockefeller, while the Lehmans, the Kuhns, the Loebs, etc. ran the branches of the defunct 2nd Bank of the United States. The Federal Reserve Board would have to wait until 1913.

During the Wildcat banking years, from 1936 onwards, Lionel, Nathan’s son, who had become head of the family dynasty in the City, was satisfied to let the American West open up in a free-wheeling manner. He had three other worldly matters that more attention. The most pressing one was getting the last European power, Spain, to leave America in order to establish a permanent southern US border. The French administration along with its military had left America in 1763, that of England in 1783, and now it was Spain’s turn. Once that was accomplished, the Manifest Destiny concept would be realized. Lionel would then populate California with Americans, and he already had an idea on how to do it.

The other two matters were opening Japan and getting it to help unite China by invading it and getting rid of the Chinese warlords, and the other was to give France political stability by bulldozing its center of power, Paris, and transforming it into the City of Lights. The building of democracies in the ancient lands of Europe with old political regimes would not happen overnight, and it was best to get started as soon as possible. The Chinese and Indian democracies would be easy enough to establish, but Europe would take a very long time to unite. To be sure, globalization was very much on Nathan’s mind when he established the family dynasty in the City, in 1810, and took control of international finance, but it didn’t get going until Lionel took charge in 1836.

33-MASS COMMUNICATION

Part IV                          Globalization

 

How the Glorious Man and his dynasty created the world of credit that gave us prosperity and leisure.

33-Mass Communication

34-War of 1812

35-Spanish-American War, 1846

36-Civil War 1863

37-Japan/China 1853, India 1858

38-City of Lights

39-Boer Wars

40-The FED

41-Conspiracy and Control

42-WW1, Crash

43-WW11, Bretton Woods

44-Geopolitical Sandwich

45-Big Brother

 

Mass Communication

 

Our world, the western world, started when the Jews and Huguenots, the enemies of the Holy Roman Empire, created democracy in England in 1689. After getting a foothold in Amsterdam in 1602, and especially in London in 1688, the bankers were finally able to finance the election of the people’s representatives and give them a forum, parliament. Democracy as it became known, was a win-win situation for all. Parliamentarians were forever asking the bankers for loans, and in wanting to safeguard this great source of credit, the politicians made sure they collected taxes in order to pay back the loans, or at least the interest. The bankers were sure of having their loans repaid for the first time in their history and they invested in research and development at a frenzied pace.

At first, there was no infrastructure, and communication was limited to the printed page. The printing press had been invented by Johannes Gutenberg in 1440, but the rotary press did not see the day until 1846. The Industrial Revolution was slow in getting going, but it got in gear when, in 1765, James Watt invented a converter for the world’s first steam cylinder and piston engine that had been invented by Denis Papin, a Huguenot from Hesse, in 1690. As of 1765, the Industrial Revolution had a full head of steam so to speak. Manufacturing goods and mining with steam power, and transporting those merchandises along roads and canals became commonplace. Other major inventions like Eli Whitney’s cotton gin in 1793, Elias Howe’s sewing machine with interchangeable parts in 1846, and Henry Bessemer’s steelmaking process in 1857 contributed to the production of goods, but the concept of globalization envisaged by Nathan in the City as early as 1810, and by his father before him, depended entirely on communications.

Nicephore Niepce created photography in 1820, Samuel Morse the telegraph in 1844, Charles Havas, Paul Reuter and Bernhard Wolf, news agencies in 1845, and from there, communications increased exponentially. When Bessemer invented his steelmaking process in 1857, railroad tracks were finally cast in a durable material and the construction of railroads mushroomed. Then came Graham Bell with the telephone in 1876, Thomas Edison with the light bulb in 1879, and Nikola Tesla with the a/c induction motor in 1887. However, when George Westinghouse triumphed over Edison with his a/c current distribution system in 1891, that’s when the whole world lit up.

As research and development continued to receive astounding amounts of credit, images and voices started travelling through the air over long distances. Reginald Aubrey Fessenden transmitted the human voice without wires in 1900, and Hollywood started producing films that seduced the whole world as early as 1910. After Henry Ford got the combustion engine rolling with his Model-T, and the Wright Bros. got it flying in 1903, films made in America, the dream nation, were seen around the world. Although images started travelling through the air with TV in 1926, the colour film introduced in 1930 gave us the ‘image is the message’ concept that we know so well today. When the first computer and its mouse arrived in 1976, and especially when Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web came along in 1990, we became information addicts. But it was the smartphone in 1993 that captivated our total attention and hardwired us to the news agencies, transforming us into smombies in the process. It took 3 million years to get to steam energy, but it took a mere 225 years more to get the whole world connected.

Hollywood was a good example of how research and development money gets things done. In the early 1900s, filmmakers, almost exclusively Jewish, began moving to the Los Angeles area. The idea was to create the film industry in an unreachable place where they would be free to make good use of the patents owned by Thomas Edison and Eastman Kodak of New Jersey with impunity. If perchance an agent from New Jersey came out west to find and stop a filmmaker, adequate notice allowed for a quick escape to Mexico. There was really not much Thomas Edison or George Eastman could do.

The first film, ‘In old California’, was produced in 1910. From there, the Laemmle’s, the Zukor’s, the Frohman’s, the Lasky’s, the Goldfish’s, the Abrams’, the Warner’s, the DeMille’s, the Cohn’s, the Selznick’s, the Sarnoff’s, the Zanuck’s, the Loew’s and the Mayer’s, Jews for the most part, made the industry prosper with lightning speed. The radio and film industries launched the 20th century into the realm of globalization, and in the blink of an eye, television, computers, mobile phones and airplanes turned us into world citizens.

32-WATERLOO 1815

 

When Napoleon returned from Russia, Nathan decided it was time to get rid of him. Nathan financed all the warring factions, not only Napoleon’s Army, but that of Austria, Prussia, Russia and England. Since the days of Aboukir, financing all sides continued to be a way of getting the desired results. Napoleon suffered defeat upon defeat, and after his encounters with Wellington in Spain, he was forced out of the Iberian Peninsula. He had by then lost most of his power. He signed the Treaty of Fontainebleau on April 11, 1814, abdicating in the process, and was sent to the Island of Elba.

Something very odd happened concerning Napoleon on February 26, 1815. In wanting to completely uproot Napoleon’s dynasty by destroying what was left of the Imperial Army, Nathan probably arranged to have him escape Elba and have him march on Paris. As the British guard ships looked the other way, Napoleon slipped away from Portoferraio on board the warship Inconstant with some 1,000 men, and landed between Cannes and Antibes on March 1. He knew that Royalist Provence would not be very friendly to him, and so, he avoided Provence by taking a route through the Alps.

Without firing a single shot, he marched unimpeded in a country in which he was reviled, and his troop numbers swelled until they became an army. On March 5, the Royalist 5th Infantry Regiment at Grenoble went over to Napoleon en masse. The next day they were joined by the 7th Infantry Regiment under its colonel, Charles de la Bédoyère, who would later be executed for treason by the Bourbons. An old anecdote illustrates Napoleon’s charisma. When Royalist troops deployed to stop the march of Napoleon’s force at Grenoble, Napoleon stepped out in front of them, ripped open his coat and said “If any of you will shoot his Emperor, here I am.” The men acclaimed him as they had when he had first gone to Italy.

Marshal Ney now a military commander under Louis XVIII was heard to say that Napoleon should be brought to Paris in an iron cage, but on March 14, that same Ney rejoined his old comrade in arms, Napoleon, with 6,000 men. Five days later, after proceeding through the countryside promising constitutional reform and an elected assembly to the acclaim of the crowds, Napoleon entered the capital from which Louis XVIII fled.

In the meantime, the Coalition countries met in Vienna and declared Napoleon an outlaw as they each pledged 150 000 men to defeat him. Unperturbed, Napoleon decided to take the offensive by going after the weakest army, that of Wellington, which had marched into Belgium. Because English troops were still committed to the War of 1812 in America, Wellington didn’t have what could be called an elite army.

The Duke of Wellington with 110,000 men, and Prussia’s Field Marshal Blucher with 120,000 men were the only two armies close enough to threaten France, and so Napoleon decided to strike before the Russians and the Austrians arrived. Moving with stunning speed, he invaded Belgium with 125,000 men in a bid to split Wellington and Blucher’s armies, and defeat each separately.

Marshal Grouchy went to meet Wellington’s army while Napoleon defeated the Prussians. Then, with the Prussians on the run, Napoleon decided to personally go after Wellington to the north. Marshal Grouchy was to make sure the defeated Prussians to the east would not come back and join up with Wellington. However, it took more time than expected for Napoleon to drive through Wellington’s defenses, and surprisingly, Marshal Grouchy was unable to hold back the weakened Prussians. When Blucher’s forces joined up with those of Wellington, Napoleon didn’t have a chance. That was the end of the Battle of Waterloo.

On the day the battle ended, on the other side of the Channel, Nathan was in London waiting for the official results of the battle with a formidable communications network in place. Even though Nathan was financing all the armies and knew that Napoleon didn’t have a chance, he wanted, nonetheless, to be absolutely sure before putting his devilish stock exchange swindle in motion. Nathan held a good portion of the 300 million pounds’ worth of Consols, the debt England had consolidated in funded government securities that were traded on the London Stock Exchange, but he wanted to own it all. As soon as the battle outcome was confirmed by his personal couriers who had waited for the carrier pigeons to arrive, and who had then rushed to the London Stock Exchange to inform the great man, Nathan started dumping all the Consols that he owned, making sure all the traders saw what he was doing. In no time at all, convinced that Nathan knew something they didn’t, the traders started dumping their Consols until the price of Consols dropped to ten percent of their value. When Nathan gave the signal, his aides bought back all the Consols as fast as they could. When the outcome of the battle was made public a short time later, and when everybody realized it had been Wellington, and not Napoleon, who had won, the price of Consols skyrocketed past their original high, and in a single day, Nathan had taken charge of the entire English debt and consolidated his control over the Bank of England.

Napoleon was exiled to St. Helens, and Louis XVIII was encouraged to try and establish a French constitutional monarchy, failed, and was subsequently removed from power. There would be two more tries at establishing an English style monarchy, but both failed, and around 1850, Lionel, Nathan’s son, decided that enough was enough. Paris, the center of power, would be transformed into the City of Lights, and France would return to being a republic as established under Napoleon, the only difference being that the Emperor would now be an elected President.

31-MOSCOW CAMPAIGN

 

Shortly after the War of 1812 began, Nathan, confident that the American politicians would renew his bank’s charter, turned his attention to Europe. He was anxious to send Napoleon to Russia. Like his father, he believed that more gold bullioto the Uralsn was needed if the number of central banks, and hence the amount of credit, was to grow. It was crucial to accumulate as much gold as possible, at least until the US paper dollar became as good as gold, but that would take a lot of gold and a lot of years. The problem in 1812 was that gold mining was still in its infancy, and that even exploiting alluvial gold deposits was a problem. However, it just so happened that the most advanced mining engineering school in the world was in Paris. L’École des Mines de Paris founded in 1783 had developed the latest techniques for extracting alluvial gold, and this gave Nathan the wherewithal to pursue his plan.

In 1803, alluvial gold had been discovered on the western slope of the Urals in Russia, and it was well known that the Tsar wanted to keep it a secret, for he didn’t want the serf population to start a gold rush. In 1810, Nathan who was setting the world price for gold bullion out of the City in London, was well aware of that situation. Therefore, he would entice Napoleon to go and force Tsar Alexander’s hand to open the country to private gold mining. Napoleon would take a corps of engineers with him, and once Alexander was forced into accepting, that elite corps would be sent to the Urals in order to launch and supervise mining operations. Of course, Napoleon was to keep all the proceeds from the sale of the mined gold. Nathan would open a Russian bank and buy all the gold as it was being produced while giving the Tsar his royalties. Letters of exchange in pounds would be sent to Napoleon in Paris, and the gold would find its way to Nathan’s vaults in the City. Napoleon and the Tsar would get the paper, and Nathan would get the gold.

Napoleon started the Russian campaign in June, 1812, and he was heading into a Russian winter which made absolutely no sense. After major losses, he entered Moscow. But since the retreating Russian Army had burned and stripped the city of supplies, it was a deadly place to be for a starving army. He could easily have gone on to Saint Petersburg to defeat Tsar Alexander and winter his troops in that city, but he chose to stay in Moscow for a whole five weeks instead. Napoleon was obviously waiting for an answer from the Tsar, to whom he had issued an ultimatum regarding opening the country to gold mining. After likely receiving assurances from Tsar Alexander that it would be done, Napoleon decided to spare Saint Petersburg, and took off as fast as he could for France, but not before dispatching to the Urals a contingent of 22 000 men headed by the engineers from l’Ecole des Mines de Paris. If Napoleon then took the same direct way back to France, knowing full well the countryside was totally devastated by the passing of his army on the way to Moscow, and that winter was around the corner, it was because he was in a hurry to reap the benefits of the campaign and was willing to gamble. Napoleon made it OK, but his army wasn’t so lucky. Winter set in early, and his army was completely annihilated.

Later that year, the Russian Senate issued an Act authorizing subjects and private companies to mine gold and silver ores providing they pay royalties to the Severnaya Kazna National State Bank. As expected, numerous private mining companies with Russian names started mining operations, and the country’s gold output was as much as 2 tons in that first year. Financing research and development in gold mining technology and buying the gold produced at the price set by Nathan in the City would become the modus operandi for all time.

Meanwhile, in Judengasse, Mayer’s health was failing. Upon receiving the bad news, Nathan duly rushed to Frankfurt, and was at his father’s bedside when he died on September 19, 1812. One can only wonder if the War in America declared on June 18, 1812, happening at the same time Napoleon was starting his Russian Campaign, didn’t adversely affect Mayer’s health. Did he think Nathan was in too much of a hurry? Did he think too many people were being killed needlessly in the name of gold? Or was 68 considered a ripe old age for the times? No matter, the greatest man who ever lived passed away in almost total anonymity in his German ghetto.

One thing is certain, Gretel must have reminded Nathan of the absolute necessity for discretion and anonymity so dear to his father. In London, Nathan had been doing exactly the opposite of what Mayer had always done, that is, keep a low profile while building the greatest financial dynasty of all time. Gretel couldn’t have been too happy with Nathan’s extravagant ways.

Nathan attended his father’s funeral with his son Lionel, who was four years old at the time. Gretel bonded instantly with her grandson, and when he took over the reins of power after his father’s death in 1836, Gretel was still living in Judengasse. She died much later, in 1849, and Lionel visited the old woman he loved as often as he could. Gretel had a great influence on him, for under his direction, the dynasty built by Mayer slowly went back to keeping a low profile, to the point where most people today wonder if it ever really existed. Nonetheless, to this day, Nathan’s bank in the City fixes the world price for gold out on a daily basis.