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The Bank That Lived a Little: Barclays in the Age of the Very Free Market

Philip Augar



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Penguin Books Ltd
04 July 2019
Economics & Business; Economic history; Corporate finance; Banking; Financial services industry
Based on unparalleled access to those involved, and told with compelling pace and drama, The Bank that Lived a Little is the story of one of the most familiar names on the British high street since Big Bang in 1986. Philip Augar describes in detail three decades of boardroom intrigue driven by ruthless ambition, grandiose dreams and a desire for wealth. It is a tale of a struggle for long-term supremacy between rival strategies and their adherents - one camp desperate for Barclays to join the top table of global banks, the other preferring a smaller domestic role more in keeping with the bank's sober Quaker origins. This strategic disagreement continues to divide opinion within Barclays, the City and beyond.

This is an extraordinary corporate thriller, an inside chronicle of personal feuds, but much more besides- Augar shows that Barclays' experiences are a paradigm for Britain's social and economic life over thirty years, which saw the City move from the edge of the economy to its very centre. These decades created unprecedented prosperity for a tiny number, and made the reputations of governments and individuals but then left many of them in tatters. The leveraged society, the winner-takes-all mentality and our present era of austerity can all be traced to the influence of banks such as Barclays. Augar's book tells this rollercoaster story from the perspective of many of its participants - and also of those affected by the grip they came to have on Britain.
By:   Philip Augar
Imprint:   Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 26mm
Weight:   349g
ISBN:   9780141987538
ISBN 10:   0141987537
Pages:   448
Publication Date:   04 July 2019
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Philip Augar, a former banker with a doctorate in history, is the author of several previous books including the celebrated The Death of Gentlemanly Capitalism (Allen Lane, 2000). He has held numerous public and private sector directorships, and is currently chair of the UK government's review of higher education. He contributes regularly to the Financial Times and the BBC.

Reviews for The Bank That Lived a Little: Barclays in the Age of the Very Free Market

Once you start reading Philip Augar's well-researched book, you are captivated. ... What makes The Bank That Lived a Little a must-read is the way in which, in its pages, Barclays comes to embody all that has been, and possibly still is, wrong with the entire banking sector. -- Vicky Pryce * Literary Review * A riveting and revealing account of how a bank of high moral character with Quaker origins ended up in the sewer thanks to ambition and greed. -- Iain Martin * The Times * A brilliantly readable account, based on exceptional access to most of those involved, of the transformation of the old Quaker bank into a hard-charging capitalist adventurer. ... Philip Augar's book is both a thriller and a reminder that business is fascinating because all human life is there. -- John Plender * Financial Times * He tells the financial story of our age -- Alec Russell * Financial Times *

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