The Rothschild Conspiracy

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

by Brian Dunning

Filed under Conspiracies

Skeptoid #311
May 22, 2012
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Also available in Russian

Mayer Amschel Rothschild
Mayer Amschel Rothschild
(Public domain image)

Today we're going to point our skeptical eye at the famous Rothschild banking family, and the multitudinous conspiracy theories surrounding them. Just about every conspiracy theory website that presumes the world's governments act in willing concert under the guidance of some secret council points the finger at the Rothschilds. We're going to take a modern-day look at this mysterious family, see who they really are and what they really do, and see exactly what evidence there is that shows that they are actually directing world affairs. Why would superpowers such as the United States, Russia, and China willing give up their sovereignty, conducting wars and exerting control over markets according to instructions from above? The answer, according to the believers, is money.

Driven by their quest for money, the Rothschilds have been said to assassinate US Presidents, and to create virtually every war since the 1800s in order to finance both sides. Some say the Rothschilds (who are Jewish) caused the Holocaust, while others say they were the true power behind the creation of Israel. They would, and continue, to do anything for money. In fact one of the earliest and most influential Rothschilds, Nathan, is claimed to have said:

I care not what puppet is placed upon the throne of England to rule the Empire on which the sun never sets. The man who controls Britain's money supply controls the British Empire, and I control the British money supply.

The Rothschilds' whole story is one of money, and it began in the 18th century. Their history is perhaps largely responsible for the modern belief that Jews control the world's money supply, which is not entirely unrooted in fact. Throughout Christian Europe, it was common for institutionalized anti-Semitism to prohibit Jews from owning property; so Jewish businesspeople had no choice but to work in the fields of commerce and finance, where money could be kept liquid and easily transferred or hidden. By denying Jews the stability of property ownership, Christians unwittingly forced Jews of the day into great financial expertise.

The greatest of these financial adepts was Mayer Amschel Rothschild, born in 1744 in a Jewish slum of Frankfurt. Not much is known about his early life, as his was one of tens of thousands of marginalized, outcast families. But once he came of age he became an apprentice at a small bank in Hamburg, where he learned the trade. Returning to Frankfurt at the age of 19, he offered his own banking services in a modest way, beginning with trading of rare coins and related investments. He was energetic, clever, and most of all he was charismatic. And he was smart, seeking out wealthy clientele, and associating with nobility whenever he could. By the age of 40, he had consolidated his most important business contact: the Landgrave William, the Elector of Hesse, one of only a tiny number of nobles empowered to elect the Holy Roman Emperor. When William was younger, he had engaged in the trading of rare coins with Mayer's father, and so the two had always known one another. When William inherited his own father's massive fortune, his friendship with Mayer Rothschild gave Mayer the ability to begin conducting larger international transactions.

This was the point at which the Rothschild name became first involved with the manipulation of money behind the scenes of wars. Mayer was a firm believer in family business, and insisted on using his own sons — by then he had five — as his business partners. What he did next became the model for many powerful Jewish financiers who followed: He installed each of his five sons as his agents in the five major financial centers of Europe: the eldest Amschel Mayer Rothschild in Frankfurt, Salomon Mayer Rothschild in Vienna, Nathan Mayer Rothschild in London, Calmann Mayer Rothschild in Naples, and the youngest Jakob Mayer Rothschild in Paris.

One of Mayer's earliest transactions was the start of the pseudohistory and hyperbole surrounding everything Rothschild. Napoleon was on the march through Europe, and the popular version of the story claims that William gave the entirety of his fortune to Mayer to protect it from being seized by Napoleon. Mayer was able to hide the money by sending it to his son Nathan in London. The London Rothschild office had to spend it somewhere, and loaned it to the British crown, in order to finance the British armies fighting Napoleon in Spain and Portugal in the Peninsular War. In fact, all William gave to Mayer were some important papers. Nathan had already long managed the bulk of William's money, and much of it was already invested with the British Crown. William was no stranger to such transactions; his father had gained much of that wealth in the first place through the financing of Britain's war on the American colonies, a few decades earlier.

Nevertheless, the Rothschilds' savvy investments of William's money paid off handsomely, netting sufficient interest that their own wealth eventually exceeded that of their original nest-egg client. This marked the birth of the Rothschild banking dynasty.

Four of Mayer's five sons had sons of their own, most of whom were sent to other financial centers to head new offices. By Mayer's edict, family members intermarried with first and second cousins, keeping the company sealed tight against outsiders. At their height, the Rothschilds' wealth, if it had been pooled, would have been the largest single fortune in world history. Europe was littered with dozens of staggering mansions owned by family members. Throughout the 19th century, N M Rothschild and Sons in London filled the role now held by the International Monetary Fund, stabilizing the currencies of major world governments. They profited heavily, but they also provided a crucial international service.

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, marked the end of this part of the Rothschilds' business. In addition, Nazi Germany devastated the Austrian Rothschilds and seized all of their assets. The family members escaped to the United States, but lost their entire fortunes to the Nazis, including a number of palaces and a huge amount of artwork. The banks' sizable assets became the property of Nazi Germany, and this is the only seed of truth to the claim that the Rothschilds "funded the Holocaust".

By the time of the state of Israel's creation in the late 1940s, there were hundreds of Rothschild descendants, many still in banking or asset management, many in philanthropy, and many in unrelated businesses. Some Rothschilds supported Israel; some were passionately opposed. The idea of a single unified Rothschild establishment was long gone. No doubt many financial institutions were involved in Israel's early days, some were Rothschild banks, many more were not. It is this twisting and spinning of ordinary events into dark powerful deeds that characterizes much of the Rothschild conspiracy claims.

Case in point: At the 1815 Battle of Waterloo, Rothschild couriers were able to deliver news of the British victory to Nathan a full day ahead of government messengers. Nathan bought bonds at a low price that was fluctuating with uncertainty, and did very well the next day when official news came and prices rose. The conspiracy theory version states that Nathan first dumped bonds on the market to fool other investors into thinking he had news that the battle was lost, and through this ruse, multiplied the family fortune. In fact there is no historical record of this prior to a 1940 German movie called Die Rothschilds Aktien auf Waterloo, described as "the Third Reich's first anti-Semitic manifesto on film." The truth is that the Rothschild bank was already heavily invested betting on a protracted war, and this short-term gain on bonds merely offset a long-term loss.

One of their most famous transactions came in 1825, when England's unregulated banks all went into crisis due to poor management of interest rates. Nathan Rothschild had earlier bought huge amounts of gold from the struggling Bank of England at a fire sale price and sold it to the French national bank. When the Bank of England suffered a liquidity crisis as depositors clamored for their funds, the bank was able to borrow that same money back from Nathan, and thus averted disaster. Virtually every conspiracy website claims that this is how the Rothschilds "took over the Bank of England". No. They gave them a loan, which was paid back. In later years one Rothschild descendant sat on the Bank of England's board for a time, but by no logic can it be defended that their 1825 transaction constituted "taking them over".

In fact, that famous quote from Nathan Rothschild about "controlling the British money supply" turns out to be a fabrication. I found no original source for the quote at all, though it's repeated in dozens of conspiracy books and on tens of thousands of conspiracy websites. I did a thorough search of all available newspaper archives from Nathan's lifetime, and had some friends check various university library systems. No such quote appears in the academic literature. After such a thorough search, I feel confident stating that he never made such a statement.

But the quote doesn't appear to be completely made up by the conspiracy theorists. It's most likely a revised and restyled version of this quote attributed to Nathan's father, the original Mayer Rothschild:

Give me control of a Nation's money supply, and I care not who makes its laws.

But like the longer, more specific quote from Nathan, even this one turns out to be apocryphal. Author G. Edward Griffin did manage to track it down, though. He found that this saying was:

Quoted by Senator Robert L. Owen, former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking and Currency and one of the sponsors of the Federal Reserve Act, National Economy and the Banking System, (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1939), p. 99. This quotation could not be verified in a primary reference work. However, when one considers the life and accomplishments of the elder Rothschild, there can be little doubt that this sentiment was, in fact, his outlook and guiding principle.

Tip Skeptoid $2/mo $5/mo $10/mo One time

And this is certainly true. In Rothschild's day, before banking regulation and antitrust laws existed, it was indeed possible for small groups to gain controlling interests in enough financial institutions that it could be argued that they "controlled" a nation's money supply. Evidently the Senator made up the quote to support whatever speech he was making, and attributed it to a famous name to give it some clout.

Some claim the Rothschilds own half the world's wealth. If they do, it's only in the same way that you do. Anyone with an interest-bearing bank account owns shares in whatever funds their bank invests in. Those funds own shares in other funds and public companies, and so on. At some level, virtually every financial entity owns, and is owned by, any other entity, in every country. It's exactly like the degrees of Kevin Bacon. The notion that anyone could "control the world's finances" is ludicrous.

There is no longer any such thing as a monolithic House of Rothschild with connections to any significant number of all the scores of today's independent Rothschild business ventures. 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 stakes in it (like many holding companies, it's privately held, so its records are not public). Its other owners include Rabobank and Hong Kong based Jardine Matheson Holdings. The Rothschild funds it manages now focus on mergers and acquisitions. Make no mistake, it's a large and successful company; but with billions in assets, it's a relatively small fish in the sea of world financial institutions with trillions in assets, including Deutsche Bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, HSBC Holdings, BNP Paribas, Japan Post Bank, Crédit Agricole Group, Barclays PLC, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, JP Morgan Chase & Co., and many others. Anyone trying to point the finger at the scattered Rothschilds as "controlling" world banks has an awfully tall order. That little factoid is about 100 years out of date.

By my analysis, the Rothschilds are best thought of not as an evil shadow conspiracy, but as a great success story of rags to riches, Jewish slum to financing the defeat of Napoleon. The price of gold is fixed twice a day by five members of the London Bullion Association: Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank, Scotiabank, HSBC, and Societe Generale, and they conduct their twice-daily meeting over the telephone. Today this is mere financial necessity, but until 2004, it was also a century-old tradition as great as the ringing of the bell at the New York Stock Exchange. The five distinguished representatives included a Rothschild, and they met in person in a paneled room at the London office of N M Rothschild & Sons. That ritual is now a thing of the past, as is the power of the world's greatest financial dynasty.

Brian Dunning

© 2012 Skeptoid Media Copyright information

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.

Reference this article:
Dunning, B. "The Rothschild Conspiracy." Skeptoid Podcast. Skeptoid Media, 22 May 2012. Web. 9 Oct 2015. <>


10 most recent comments | Show all 246 comments

Man all what you say is just crap. says ALL belongs to the Rothschilds SIMPLE

Celeste, Berlin
June 8, 2015 1:54am

This was a very nice article that sets somethings straight. The Conspiracy theorists seems to take information on rumors and run with it without actually checking the information.

However there's no real proof in this article as to where the huge wealth of the family actually channeled. It is very hard to believe a family so rich that it was able to fund England in the WW 2 - though coming short in the end - or rich enough to bail out the whole bank of England in its common wealth period in 1825. Gets reduced to common billionaire size for a few of the family members in just about 60 years. It is much more likely to have been funneled into funds making it impossible to trace. If you look at the owners.

Furthermore The article didn't include what i believe to be historical fact that the family actually also funded the company that created zyklon b the gas used in German concentration camps, this might be incorrect haven't researched it myself.

I wouldn't conclude them to be the angels as the conclusion seems to suggest.

The fact that some Rothchilds are in the bilderberg group and other groups where only very high ranking political, financial and other influencial figures such as royals are invited also shows that they must have more influence than what their known wealth suggests. I definately find it hard to believe that such a humongous amount of money just shrunk to only billions today.

Jacob, Copenhagen
June 20, 2015 3:00pm


July 3, 2015 9:08am

Fact remains, Rothschild reps founded the federal reserve with Rockefeller and JP morgan reps. The Fed is legally the money super power in the states and applying the usual Capitalistic strategies, they run the US and it fight s their wars, it SAYS IN THE BANKING ACT! they don't want to foreclose, they want the threat of foreclosure to keep doing what they do. The 1913 banking act is illegal, give the states and all the other countries that did the same thing (most of them) back the power to make money and watch these guys disolve, if you want to look conspiracy look into Rockefeller, find the evidence showing he did NOT have the entire Rothchild family killed off except for one he kept in his pocket... find that...

Its not a question of Evil or Good, Rothschild's were playing the banking game and they did very very well, until another fish ate them, Rockefeller. And again its not a question of Evil or Good, they were playing a brutal game. Its a BRUTAL game. As the winners enslave the victors.. We need a new game. I am trying to get a digital barter off the ground and circumvent all these guys and games. I could use all the help and support I can get.

Damon, Port Aberni BC Canada
July 5, 2015 9:19pm

Well it is evil... enslaving a population and the world is evil... why cant u people see this... Once again the creation of the monetary system is no different the bringing some ship to Africa and taking aficans away in chains. The only difference is our chains are invisible. We are a debit society / world... for every $$$ in circulation there is 9.00 debit attached to it. The word interest is only the interest of the bankers lending our money out... look at greece right now... that will happen to the whole $$$ system soon enough... Hence NEW World ORDER... Do you people actually still believe that are governments are here to protect us or provide for us... They sold that power a century ago... Hence every country in the world buys money to secure elections & the money they spend on a daily basis... lease tell me that you all now our taxes just pay off interest to the federal royal reserve or any national reserve right? We the people.. We as a nation... We as human beings who all have a soul... need to know the truth about money and how it works...

see this link...

more importantly see what in your heart after you see this...

The truth is in everyone & everyone knows this...

July 6, 2015 10:30am

"Don't worry about whether or not there's a conspiracy. If you're not in a conspiracy, then you need to start one." Catherine Austin Fitts

G Money, Delhi, India
July 9, 2015 10:55pm

There were two types of Jews in Germany during WW1 and 2 the Jews and the Ashkenazi Jews, of whom the the Rothchild's are, along with most other influential Jewish people in finance, politics (especially the U.S.) and media. They are who was responsible for the creation of Israel with the help of Hitler. Might I add it is rumored that they now wanting to move the Jewish population of Israel to the Ukraine, coz you know it isn't working out so well for them there. A documentary called "Money masters" is a fantastic window into the lives of the Rothchilds. I suggest anyone with an interest in them should probs watch it, it is available on You tube. I will add that it is a long documentary and the narrator is a little painful to listen to; but there is so much information that it is worth the pain of sitting through it.

chickenlittle, brisbane aust.
July 19, 2015 3:20pm

Newsflash; The Rothschild family is going strong under their latest name, "House of Rothschild". They ARE the central bankers, the FRS, IMF, CFR, NWO and a host of other clandestine organizations. Just try shutting down the FRS and watch the storm that will follow. My research has spanned some 26 years and numerous travels. And I darn well know what I am talking about. America needs to be very afraid of this nefarious family. However, stupid, albeit greedy politicians won't do what is right and shut them down.

Izzy, IL
August 12, 2015 6:25pm

In my country Rothschild has made an acquisition in a very strange way. It is the purchase of "Companhia Vale do Rio Doce".
The global coordinator of this transaction was Merrill Lynch & Co. ABN AMRO Rothschild : the company that made the assessment of the value of 'sale' and then herself, would eventually become one of the shareholders (something not only illegal, as immoral) ". Thus, the business of Rothschild in Brazil are dishonest.
The complaint was made by
How come you say :"By my analysis, the Rothschilds are best thought of not as an evil shadow conspiracy, but as a great success story of rags to riches, Jewish slum to financing the defeat of Napoleon?"

Marlanfe Tavares Oliveira, Rio de Janeiro/ Brazil
August 18, 2015 2:33am

this article is exceedingly naive and doesn't acknowledge how power hierarchies work. First, the article readily admits that many of said records of ownership are private records. Why? Because KNOWLEDGE IS if they're private how can anyone say for certainty who or who does not own what. Besides, even if they were public, it would be fairly easy for someone with power and influence to mask their connection with paper trails.

Second, the notion that all banks own each other in someway is HOGWASH...the person with the majority stake in anything (and there are real individuals behind all of these financial entities) has the most influence and POWER. Additionally, the private interpersonal relationships between minority stake holders can easily mask what is ultimately a majority stake in any entity.

Third, if a bank loans money to a government to keep it solvent, then yes, that bank is going to set the terms and conditions, not just sit back and collect interest. It's happening with the EU and Greece RIGHT NOW and by setting the terms that bank OWNS the country effectively.

So Naive

mark, aruba
September 8, 2015 4:03pm

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