inFact with Brian Dunning inFact with Brian Dunning


Debunking the Rothschild Myths

Some believe that world governments and economies are secretly controlled by the Rothschild banking family.

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Anti-Semitism is the most popular trait that so many conspiracy theories have in common. Whether it's myths about billionaire George Soros, that Israel was behind 9/11, or that the Holocaust never happened, Jewish people are blamed for just about anything by some conspiracy theorist on YouTube.

The Rothschild banking family, who are Jewish, are charged by conspiracy theorists with controlling the entire world's money supply, and having hundreds of trillions of dollars under their control. They are said to be behind every market shift, and to use their whims to control your financial future.

Up until about a hundred years ago, some of these things were basically true about the Rothschilds. The family rose at the beginning of the 19th century and began loaning money. With Mayer Rothschild's five sons as his agents in Europe's five major financial centers, the family was a major underwriter to governments and made huge fortunes financing entire wars. In fact, throughout the 19th century, the Rothschilds filled the same role in Europe now held by the International Monetary Fund, stabilizing the currencies of major world governments.

But what ended their empire was World Wars I and II, the costs of which exceeded the abilities of either the Rothschilds or any other banks to finance, and resulted in the creation of the International Monetary Fund. In addition, Nazi Germany devastated the Austrian Rothschilds and seized their assets, costing them their entire fortunes.

Today, generations later, descendants of the original Rothschilds are diluted all around the globe, engaged in various professions, just like every family. Only a few are still involved in banking. There is no longer any such thing as a single, monolithic House of Rothschild as a creditor to governments. The closest thing is Rothschilds Continuation Holdings AG, a Swiss company that manages interests in many Rothschild-founded institutions. There are no longer any Rothschild family members on its board (the last having retired in 2011), though about eight Rothschilds are believed to own 72.5% of it. It's thought to hold about 5 billion in assets.

But compare this to the biggest bank in the Netherlands, Rabobank, with 774 billion in assets. Does it really look like the Rothschilds are the world's greatest controllers of money?

How about the Royal Bank of Scotland, or Germany's Deutsche Bank with 1.7 trillion in assets. In fact you've got a whole hosts of major banks around the world that dwarf the Rothschilds; the largest US bank, JPMorgan Chase, is 500 times its size. There are more even bigger. But the major players are the 4 biggest banks in China, with 12 trillion dollars in assets between them.

It's really easy to find this information as these banks are all public, including who owns them and who's on their boards. The narrative that the Rothschild family controls the world's money supply is trivially disproven, so why do the YouTube conspiracy theorists still spread this slander?

Make no mistake: anti-Semitism is alive and well among conspiracy theorists.

— Brian Dunning

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References & Further Reading

Anonymous. "Alleged Federal Reserve Ownership." Web Skeptic: Researching outrageous claims on the internet. Anonymous, 10 Oct. 2008. Web. 18 May. 2012. <>

Ferguson, N. The House of Rothschild: Money's Prophets, 1798-1848. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1997.

Griffin, G. The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve. Westlake Village: American Media, 1994.

Kaplan, H. Nathan Mayer Rothschild and the Creation of a Dynasty: The Critical Years 1806-1816. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006.

Neal, L. "The Financial Crisis of 1825 and the Restructuring of the British Financial System." Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Review. 1 May 1998, Volume 1998: 53-76.

Reeves, J. The Rothschilds: The Financial Rulers of Nations. London: Sampson Low Marston Searle and Rivington, 1887.

Thomas, L. "The Man Who May Become the Richest Rothschild." The New York Times. 9 Mar. 2007, Newspaper.


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