Greg Steinmetz’s book The Richest Man Who Ever Lived is a story of the most influential Renaissance banker, Jacob Fugger. He lived in Germany and near the end of his life, his fortune was around two percent of the European GDP. His wealth often came from understanding how trading works and seizing the right opportunity.
Fugger earned a reputation by doing finance for the Habsburgs, had business relationships with Frederick III, the Holy Roman Emperor and was a banker to Charles V of Spain and Emperor Maximilian I, who established the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Being surrounded by all those influential people, Fugger knew how to get his money. He was never ashamed or scared to ask them to pay back both the loan and of course, the interest. Fugger even got the Pope to change the law on charging interest. He was also the first to create an international news network.
Fugger was engaged in the market of copper and silver, construction of roads, transferring funds and bookkeeping. This book will give you the insight in how things used to work and how one man rose to power not because of his background but his skills. It’s a great history book that will help you understand the power of money, religion and politics at the turn of the sixteenth century.
Get it from Amazon here.
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