I’ve always been fascinated with the story of how Nathan Rothschild supposedly used his early knowledge of the result of the Battle of Waterloo to make a killing on the London Stock Exchange. However, this new article claims that the story is false, just a piece of anti-Semitic libel. Unless you read the whole article. Buried towards the end of the article you read:

“So, while it is confirmed that Rothschild had early news, he was not the only one. Did Rothschild have time to buy shares? Apparently, but in the thin market of the period, it could not have been enough to accumulate holdings sufficient to earn him the millions that Dairnvaell wrote of.”

The entire article up to this point seems to be designed to discredit the old story – but then, at best, it moderates it, so say yes, he had early news, early enough to buy shares, but he probably didn’t make much money out of it.

What I find fascinating is that this story is always portrayed as anti-Semitic. While I don’t doubt at all that anti-Semitism was rife during the 19th century, there were plenty of reasons for people to hate the Rothschilds that had nothing to do with them being Jewish. For a start, Nathan had almost single-handedly financed the unjust British war effort against Napoleon. How many hundreds of thousands of deaths, how many destroyed homes and towns, were the result of his money?