By Mika Hamilton

History offers many insights into our financial world. Of course, while in history class the teachers focus on the topics of wars and victories. What they leave out that could change the way our youth views the world of finances. Instead, students must enroll in a economic class or business class and shuffle their way through the lessons, hoping they are prepared for the future. Maybe we should start teaching a broader view of history that goes beyond who won and who lost. This way we learn who was really dealing the cards at the table behind the scenes; the money movers. You cannot have a war without funding, and this money has to come from somewhere, and in most cases it came for privately owned banks.

To the victor go the spoils. The victor also inherits the loser debts which must be paid off as well. So who is the real winner in war; the soldiers on the front lines taking down the enemy or the bankers on the side lines betting on the outcome? It has long been thought that the Rothschild family had their own game plan in motion while Napoleon fought on the battle field. While he was defeated and sent into exile, he eventually escaped and after winning over the troops sent to re-capture him, he returned to Paris a hero. Now it was King Louis turn to flee into exile and Napoleon took over the French throne.

During this time privately owned banks were funding both sides of the war. This would appear to be an ethically dilemma; how could one agree to fund the enemy of his brother? While it may not always be the case, when it comes to money there may be little concern of ethics. A good example of this is insider trading within the stock markets, which is illegal. Then again, who knows what goes on behind closed doors?

When it came to the battle of Waterloo, knowing ahead of time which side would be victorious would certainly have been an advantage in the financial markets. While the brave men faced their opponents on the battle field back in London it is said that Nathan Rothschild was planning his own strategy of attack to gain control over the British stock-and bond market. While it is uncertain whether this story is accurate, and the Rothschild denies any involvement, the story speculations still circulate today as to the extent of their involvement.

As the story goes, Nathan Rothschild had in place a man he could trust on the north end of the battlefield, which was close to the English Channel. The moment the battles outcome could determined the agent delivered the news to Nathan Rothschild. This news came twenty four hours before Britain’s Duke of Wellington’s courier delivered it.

By having a communication network in place, Rothschild seized the moment and began selling; leading others to believe that Wellington had been defeated. The mayhem continued as stocks and bonds were sold and prices dropped, and at the right moment, Rothschild and his partners are said to have started buying up everything as quickly as they could. Of course, this was said to be done under the wire through other agents. By the time it was all said and done, Rothschild and his partners held control over the bond market and the Bank of England. Makes one wonder how many other events in history may have been influenced by the banking system?

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