Family banking in an era of crisis: N.M. Rothschild & Sons and business in central and eastern Europe between the World Wars

Neil Forbes

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Abstract

In focusing on the business conducted by N.M. Rothschild & Sons in central and eastern Europe, this article analyses how the same family-specific characteristics, which had facilitated competitive advantages before 1914, exposed the house to dangerous pressures after 1918. The interwar years were critical as the family struggled to endure economic and financial turmoil and, especially, the ideological challenges of the 1930s. Nevertheless, the bank continued to support succession states such as Hungary - though the government became authoritarian and the economy subservient to the interests of Nazi Germany. The article examines how familial connections that spanned generations, humanitarian concerns and path dependency combined to influence business decisions and structure assessments of political risk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)963-980
JournalBusiness History
Volume55
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Bibliographical note

This is an electronic version of an article published in Business History, 55 (6), pp. 963-980. Business History is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00076791.2012.744586.

Keywords

  • banking
  • family firms
  • international crisis
  • interwar
  • Rothschild

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