Major economic conspiracies surround the famous Rothschild banking family. For example, its is claimed that the Rothschild family:
- Assassinated US Presidents.
- Profited from virtually every war since the 1800s.
- Manipulate financial markets.
- Caused the Holocaust.
- Influenced the creation of Israel.
- Own half of the world’s wealth.
- Control the British money supply.
- Control the world’s governments and economies.
In this article, we will investigate who this family is, what they do and if there is any weight to conspiracies such as these. We will be drawing heavily from the research conducted by Brian Dunning over at Skeptoid.
The Rothschilds’ story revolves around money and started in the 18th Century. During that period, European countries prohibited Jews from owning property, forcing Jewish people to work in finance and keep their money liquid and hidden. It was in Frankfurt that one Mayer Amschel Rothschild was born in 1744. He became an apprentice at a small bank in Hamburg, where he learned the finance trade, and later developed his financial career back in Frankfurt. He sought out wealthy clientele and hit the jackpot when he made contact with the Landgrave William, the Elector of Hesse, a noble empowered to elect the Holy Roman Emperor. This granted Mayer the chance to engage in large international transactions.
It was at this point that the Rothschild name became intertwined with the manipulation of money behind the scenes of wars. Napoleon planned to march through Europe and, as legend goes, William told Mayer to hide and protect the entirety of his fortune to keep it out of the hands of Napoleon. Mayer hid the money by sending it to London where one of his sons, Nathan, was working. Subsequently, the London Rothschild office loaned the money to the British crown to finance the British armies fighting Napoleon in Spain and Portugal. Fortunately, for the Rothschilds’ pockets, their investments paid off and their wealth skyrocketed; this was the advent of the Rothschild banking dynasty.
Funding the Holocaust
As for the conspiracy theory asserting that the Rothschilds funded the Holocaust, this all began in Nazi Germany when the Austrian Rothschilds had their assets seized by the state. The Austrian branch of the Rothschild family escaped to America but lost their entire fortune to the Nazis and this, it seems, is the only fact behind the assertion that the Rothschilds funded the Holocaust. Their role was indirect and wholly not of their own choices.
The Creation of Israel
When the state of Israel was founded in the late 1940s, there were many descendants of Mayer Rothschild. Naturally, some supported the creation of Israel and some were totally against it. Inevitably, many of the financial institutions involved in the birth of Israel were headed by a Rothschild, and, likewise, many were not. Again, this seems to be the only truth behind the conspiracy claim that the Rothschild family helped create Israel. Probability dictates that out of all the banks that helped create Israel, many of them would be controlled by a Rothschild; it doesn’t necessarily mean that all Rothschild banks were involved or that Rothschild banks were involved for sinister reasons.
The 1815 Bond Market Conspiracy
During the 1815 Battle of Waterloo, Rothschild couriers delivered news of the British victory to Nathan Rothschild a day earlier than official government messengers. Consequently, Nathan exploited the uncertainty in the bond market, bought bonds at a low price and reaped the rewards the next day when news filtered through to the rest of the nation and bond prices rose. This version of events contradicts the conspiracy theory version which contends that Nathan artificially lowered the price of bonds by flooding the bond market with bonds to fool investors into believing he had news that the infamous battle was lost.
I Control the British Money Supply
Nathan Rothschild is claimed to have said:
“I care not what puppet is placed upon the throne of England to rule the Empire on which the sun never sets. The man who controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire, and I control the British money supply.”
However, there is no academic reference to attribute this quote to him. It seems that this quote was twisted and formed from one his father Mayer Rothschild had previously made when he said:
Give me control of a Nation’s money supply, and I care not who makes its laws.
In Mayer Rothschild’s day, there was no banking regulation or antitrust laws, and it was possible for small groups of financiers to control a sufficient number of financial institutions such that they “controlled” a nation’s money supply.
The Rothschilds Own Half the World's Wealth
Most conspiracies theories involving the Rothschilds claim that they own half the world’s wealth. This must be seen as an incredibly incorrect assertion. The Rothschilds own shares in financial institutions, no doubt. But to claim they own half the world’s wealth is simply wrong. Any person with an interest-bearing bank account owns shares in whichever funds their bank invests in, that is logical. Those funds then own shares in other funds and companies, and the chain goes on. Arguably, virtually every financial entity owns, and is owned by, other financial entities across the whole planet. There is no single family that controls the world’s finances.
More importantly, there no longer exists a monolithic House of Rothschild with connections to many independent Rothschild companies. There is only Rothschilds Continuation Holdings, a Swiss company managing the interests of numerous Rothschild institutions. This company has no Rothschild family members on its board and only 8 Rothschilds are believed to own shares in it. Although it is a successful company worth billions of dollars, there are many more successful companies worth trillions of dollars, including Barclays PLC, Deutsche Bank, HSBC Holdings and BNP Paribas amongst others. Any argument stating that the Rothschilds control world banks and finances is just wrong.
The Rothschild family are not an evil shadowy spectre controlling the world’s finances behind the scenes, they are a fortunate and great success story of rags to riches.
Dunning, B., Deconstructing the Rothschild Conspiracy., Skeptoid Podcast. Skeptoid Media, 22 May 2012. Web. 22 Apr 2017, online, available from:
Accessed 22nd April 2017