The Budapest Protocol is back
New e-book edition published by Telegram UK
US edition coming soon from HarperCollins
The world's most exclusive club meets every other month at 7pm on Sunday evening in a circular tower block whose tinted windows overlook Basel railway station. Its members include some of the most powerful men in the world. They are central bankers, who have come to Switzerland to attend the Economic Consultative Committee of the Bank for International Settlements, the bank for central banks.
Set up in 1930 by an international treaty, the BIS and its assets are legally inviolable. The Swiss authorities have no jurisdiction over the bank or its premises. The BIS has just 140 customers but made tax-free profits of $1.17 billion in 2011-12.
Under Thomas McKittrick, the bank's American president, the BIS continued operating throughout the Second World War. The BIS accepted looted Nazi gold, conducted foreign exchange deals for the Reichsbank and was used by both the Allies and the Axis powers as a secret contact point to keep the channels of international finance open.
After 1945 the BIS—behind the scenes—for decades provided the necessary technical and administrative support for the trans-European currency project, from the first attempts to harmonize exchange rates in the late 1940s to the launch of the Euro in 2002.
The bank is now at the centre of efforts to build a new global financial and regulatory architecture. Yet despite its central role in the history of the last century and during the current crisis, the BIS remains largely unknown - until now.
Tower of Basel is the first unauthorised investigative history of the world's most influential global financial institution. Based on extensive archival research in Switzerland, Britain and the United States, and in-depth interviews with key decision makers including Paul Volcker, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England and former senior BIS managers and officials, Tower of Basel tells the story of the secretive institution at the heart of the global banking network: the central bankers' own bank.
Adam LeBor has written an absolutely fascinating history of the BIS, perhaps the most enigmatic financial institution in the world. The story he unveils of the many skeletons in its closet and its astounding ability to remake itself periodically only add to its mystique.Liaquat Ahamed, author of "Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World"
Compelling reading--a masterly depiction of the role of the BIS in the Nazi period and Second World War.Harold James, professor of history and international affairs, Princeton University, and author of "Making the European Monetary Union"
"Tower of Basel" is essential reading. Meticulously researched and fluently written, it reveals a slice of the modern world's untold history--a gripping tale of covert networks, secret deals and unaccountable, powerful individuals whose decisions shape our lives.Edward Lucas, author of "Deception: The Untold Story of East-West Espionage Today"
Yael Azoulay does the United Nations’ dirty work by cutting deals that most of us never hear about. Equally at home in the caves of Afghanistan, the slums of Gaza, or corporate boardrooms all across the world, Yael believes the ends justify the means…until she’s pushed way beyond her breaking point.
When Yael is assigned to eastern Congo to negotiate with Jean-Pierre Hakizimani, a Hutu warlord wanted for genocide, she offers him a generous plea bargain. Thanks to Congo’s abundance of a valuable mineral used in computer and cell phone production, her number one priority is maintaining regional stability. But when she discovers that Hakizimani was behind the death the person she loved most in the world —and that the UN is prepared to sanction mass murder—Yael soon discovers that salvation means not just saving other’s lives but confronting her own inner demons.
Spanning New York City, Africa, and Switzerland, The Geneva Option is the first in a series of gripping and intelligent conspiracy thrillers.
The Geneva Option is very good indeed. LeBor writes fiction with the scrupulous focus of the journalist, the foreign correspondent, so the world he creates is driven by the sharp edge of reality—by the raw, brutal politics, by the monsters and desperate heroes—of a war that seems to go on forever.Alan Furst, New York Times bestselling author of The Mission to Paris“
A classic, fast-paced thriller…. Get ready to be entertained and educated.Olen Steinhauer, New York Times bestselling author of "The Tourist"
A gripping and atmospheric thriller from a great writer. Yael Azoulay is a character I’m looking forward to reading about again and again.Charles Cumming, New York Times bestselling author of "The Trinity Six"