There are six major powers today in Europe: England, the France, Prussia, the Austria, the Russia and the Baring House. "Attributed to the Duke of Richelieu, President of the Council of Ministers and Minister for Foreign Affairs at the beginning of the restoration in France, this sentence says a lot about the power of the English Bank. Founded in the 18th century, the Baring became an essential intermediary for all major international financial operations at the beginning of the 19th. A power that can compare that to another great House: Rothschild.
Funding for States, wars, big trade, the industrial revolution, from the railway: the Baring Bank was all great "deals", to forging a reputation for reliable institution. At the end of the 18th century, the founder, Francis Baring, had set the tone, urging his sons and successors to always work in the interest of their clients without ever betraying their trust. Adage of a great wisdom but that the Bank forgot, a day of 1995, to put into practice...
Very early, Baring Brothers tissa ties with economic, political and social elites, with the Royal family of England among its prestigious clients. In return, the kingship he sought honors. Second son of Francis Baring, Alexander was knighted in 1835 under the title of lord Ashburton. Thirty years later, in 1866, Francis II Baring, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, became lord Northbrook. In 1892, Evelyn Baring was made Earl of Cromer. Nice revenge for this family of German origin were considered at the time of Francis, with some condescension. The founder of the House was never able to enter the beautiful world despite the dazzling receptions organized by his wife, Harriet Herring, which belonged to a prestigious lineage, despite his fortune (625.000 books at his death in 1810) and his sumptuous collection of paintings where the Rembrandt voisinaient with the Rubens and Van Dyck, despite finally the mode of aristocratic life as he adopted in his Manor of Lewisham. Little tasting the social whirl, Francis Baring chooses or feigned to choose not to formalize, devoting his life to his business and his family.
In 1794, all the same, taking advantage of its good relations with the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the Pitt Government, Francis was elected to the House of Commons, medium for him to push for economic liberalism and build successful relationships. Become members of the aristocracy to the next generation, the Baring then developed a sense of superiority, sometimes mixed with arrogance. They felt that be client of the Bank was a privilege. Conservatives in the soul, discrete as bankers to the Queen, they were able to remain faithful almost to the end to the Council that gave them Francis: "posterity of a family of merchants and bankers can be assured that if its members avoid the temptation to spend their money, which is the fastest road to ruin." Respectable at the boring look, the Baring were, generation after generation, the main artisans of the family myth.
But this myth vola shattered a day of February 1995. Since its inception, the Bank had yet overcome all storms. In 1774 under Francis Baring, the institution had lost several tens of thousands of books in disastrous speculation on soybeans, despairing escape that the strength of its commitments and its already well established reputation. Twelve years later, in 1787, Francis Baring was was again launched in speculations on cochineal. They were also led by heavy losses. Many years later, in 1890, the House was once again almost put the key under the door. Victim of Argentina reckless commitments that had drained its liquidity, it had his salvation to the intervention of a consortium of banks established under the leadership of the Governor of the Bank of England. Nearly 20 million pounds the equivalent of 1 billion of current books had been injected to save the bankers of the Royal family. Responsible on their property, the Baring had then lost everything: land, houses, tables, horses and even power on their bank, taking possession of the latter only in 1896.
Eighty years later, during the crisis, 1974, while many of their competitors, victims of unbridled speculation, banking fell body and property, the House was again shaken, but she had taken good: there is, in the Baring, a side player, or even a part of unconsciousness. The crisis of 1995, this time, it was fatal. Child prodigy of the House, Nick Leeson the "conquerors" of Baring had made a meteoric career within the Baring Brothers, taking the direction of its Office in Singapore very young. Like others before him, it was launched in speculations high-risk, accumulating losses and ending with disguise accounts to escape the drop. The most surprising is that Peter Baring saw nothing coming. The heir of theof the most prestigious dynasties of Britain Business paying high price the aristocratic detachment of any line.
"The Baring are not Jewish." Thus begins the biography Philip Ziegler them was dedicated in 1988. The accuracy is far from trivial. When they arrive on the front of the stage, in the 18th century, the high international bank is indeed dominated by the Rothschild House which has spread in Europe. Originating in the North of the Germany, the Baring are Roman Catholic. Men of the Church, theologians, pastors Protestantism came to join them but also officials of the Royal courts: for more than three centuries, the family is God and his princes. The transition to trade is late 17th century with Franz Baring, one of the principal merchants of Bremen. He made his affairs with England, supplying wool and where it exports of large cargoes of flaxseed. At his death, in 1697, his son Johann is sent in learning in an English merchant, Exeter.
Johann will entrench the Baring in Britain. Become a British citizen in 1723, married to an English, it creates its own trading house before opening a spinning of wool. His death in 1748, he left a fortune of 40,000 books to his wife and their six children including Francis, born in 1740. Head woman, the widow took things in hand. Francis, the most talented of his children, learning it places in London.
The future founder of Baring Brothers is poorly known. Subsequent portraits described as a man sensitive, curious and discreet. Stingy lyrics, he in imposes his contemporaries by its seriousness and its mastery of himself. The man has however, ambition and a certain taste for financial shots, those that can bring large, but can also badly ending, as its failures in soybeans and cochineal demonstrated. His mother warns it. "Always very cautious and take good care not you deviate from the path that is yours," he wrote in 1766.
In London, Francis Baring has yet no more pressed to deviate from the path to him. At the end of his apprenticeship, the young man shows little desire to return to Exeter. It was then that the Baring London agent, who wishes to withdraw, offers him to resume his case. Francis Baring immediately offers his two brothers to transform this last branch of the family home, allowing him to remain in London. And is born, in 1762 Francis Baring & Co., subsidiary company of the John & Charles Baring & Co. of Exeter.
This small company on which there is absolute master, Francis Baring is one of the major houses of trade from England. It begins with the trading of goods to the spinners and manufacturers of England before embarking on more ambitious operations. Trading international, interests in vessels of trade, negotiation of bills of Exchange, and then loans and banking: the boom in the grand surfing trade, the merchant-banker extends the radius of its activities. The ultimate step Bank House transformation occurs in 1776. That year, Francis allied himself with his brother John to avoid their cadet Charles, whose weakness of character and the needs of money are a danger to the family home. Early 1777, it is dissolved. A new company with Francis and John is created in London under the name of "baring brothers". John will soon retire to live the Golden life of a great landowner.
Francis, he will wait the last years of his life to enjoy the delights of country life. Until its withdrawal from the business in 1803, the banker mobilizes all its energy to Baring Brothers the first Bank of England. Great maritime trade will be one of the key drivers of development of the House, like the alliance tied as early as the 1780s, with the Hope House of Amsterdam, one of the main banks in Europe. Together, Hope and Baring will be all commercial speculation.
The accumulated money will more later fund the war against the United States, and that against Bonaparte, or again, in 1802, the purchase of Louisiana to the France by the United States. Money of Louisiana will be helpful to Bonaparte to carry out its own wars, particularly against England! "Affairs are my main concern", had one day answered in the House of Commons Francis Baring an MP who dazzled this mixing of genres.
The poet Byron is there trompa, which, on the death of the banker in 1810, composed these few worms tinted anti-Semitism: "taking the world, the old and new, in the sentence or the pleasure." Which is constantly baragouiner politicians That is the shadow of twice threatening Bonaparte The Jewish Rothschild and his sidekick, Christian Baring. "Surprising tribute to the world of letters to the world of high finance!