The author of The Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World, Liaquat Ahamed, was at the Academy as a David Rubenstein Distinguished Visitor on October 13 for a lecture on "Lessons from the Great Depression."
Ahamed, an investment manager and author, spoke to insights the Great Depression can lend in light of the recent economic turndown, the forces that cause global financial crises generally, and the necessary changes in the domestic regulatory structure (and the global financial system) that must be implemented to avoid a repeat of the cataclysm.
In The Lords of Finance Ahamed stresses that blanket blame for the Great Depression is not, like now, so easy to assign; even the most highly trained economists could not predict the disaster. The echoes are eerily familiar.
Liaquat Ahamed is an investment manager and author of the best seller Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World, about the lead-up to the Great Depression. The book won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for History, the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Gold Medal for 2010, the 2009 Financial Times-Goldman Sachs Best Business Book of the Year, and was selected by The New York Times and TIME magazine as one of their top ten books of 2009.
Ahamed has been a professional investment manager for 25 years; he has worked at the World Bank and the New York-based partnership of Fischer Francis Trees and Watts, where he served as chief executive. He is currently an adviser to several hedge fund groups including the Rock Creek Group and the Rohatyn Group; he is a director of Aspen Insurance Co., and serves on the boards of trustees of the Brookings Institution and the New America Foundation.