Liaquat Ahamed wins Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award 2009

Liaquat Ahamed has won the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award 2009 ( for LORDS OF FINANCE: 1929, The Great Depression, and the Bankers Who Broke the World, published by William Heinemann.

Download the full press release below

The Award was presented at a gala dinner on 29th October 2009 at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London by Lionel Barber, editor, Financial Times, and Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Goldman Sachs. The keynote speaker was The Rt Hon Lord Mandelson, UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills.

Lord Mandelson said: “The Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book Award celebrates books that are not just about running a business but are also about the social, political, and even ethical landscape in which business is done. This is the business that I deal with as a Minister, and which shapes our economy.”

Liaquat Ahamed saw off strong competition to win the £30,000 prize.  The Award, which was established in 2005, aims to find the book that provides ‘the most compelling and enjoyable insight into modern business issues.’  Each of the five runners-up received a cheque for £5,000 and can expect heightened interest in their influential books.

“A brilliant book, which brings to life the 1920s and the role of its great public servants in trying, but ultimately failing, to manage the world financial system. A must for anyone who wants to understand economics.”

Lloyd C. Blankfein commented: “Lords of Finance is a timely reminder that turmoil and instability in financial markets are not an invention of the 21st Century.  It is an extraordinarily researched book that is beautifully written.”  

The judging panel for the 2009 Award was:
Lionel Barber, editor, Financial Times
Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
Mario Monti, President of the Bocconi University of Milan and the first Chairman of Bruegel
Helen Alexander, President, CBI
Lynda Gratton, Professor, London Business School
Alexander S. Friedman, Chief Financial Officer, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Photographs of Liaquat Ahamed and shortlisted authors, keynote speaker The Rt Hon Lord Mandelson, the judges and the award ceremony are available on request.

For further information please contact:
UK: Katrina Power/Steven Williams, Midas Public Relations
T: +44 (0) 207 361  7860, +44 (0) 7963 962 538, +44 (0) 7899 920 720
E: [email protected]   

Lizzie Talbot, Financial Times
T: +44 (0)207 873 4463
E: [email protected]

Ed Canaday, Goldman Sachs
T: +212-357-0005
E: [email protected]

US: Camille McDuffie, Goldberg McDuffie Communications
T: +1 212-446-5106
E: [email protected]

The Financial Times & Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award 2009

WINNER 2009 

Lords of Finance: 1929, The Great Depression, and the Bankers who Broke the World
Liaquat Ahamed (William Heinemann/Random House UK, The Penguin Press USA)

Many of us take it as a given that the Great Depression – the consequences of which reverberated for decades, crippling the future of an entire generation and setting the stage for WWII – resulted from a confluence of inexorable forces beyond any one person or government’s control.

In fact, as erudite economist Liaquat Ahamed explains, it was the decisions taken by a small number of central bankers that was the primary cause of the economic meltdown.

In Lords of Finance, we meet the neurotic and enigmatic Montagu Norman of the Bank of England; the xenophobic and suspicious Émile Moreau of the Banque de France; the arrogant yet brilliant Hjalmar Schacht of the Reichsbank; and the dynamic Benjamin Strong of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. These four men were as prominent in their time as Alan Greenspan, Hank Paulson and Mervyn King are today, but their names were lost to history, their story untold, until now.

As yet another period of economic turmoil makes headlines today, the Great Depression and the year 1929 remain the benchmark for true financial mayhem. Lords of Finance brings a new understanding of the origins and global nature of financial crises, and offers a timely and arresting reminder that individuals – their ambitions, limitations and human nature – lie at the very heart of global catastrophe.