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Martin Vander Weyer is Business Editor and Any Other Business columnist of the Spectator and a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and other national papers. He is the author of Falling Eagle: The Decline of Barclays Bank (2000), editor and principal author of Closing Balances: Business Obituaries from the Daily Telegraph (2006), and author of Fortune's Spear: The Story of the Blue-Blooded Rogue Behind the Most Notorious City Scandal of the 1920s (E&T, 2011).
Since 1992, the financial and business life of the UK and many other parts of the world has changed beyond all recognition. The culture of that change has been expertly and insightfully charted in the writings of Martin Vander Weyer. Observing from the inside and the outside, having spent 15 years as an investment banker at the heart of the British financial establishment and in Brussels and the Far East before forging a creative path as a journalist, Martin Vander Weyer offers a unique critical perspective on the events and developments that have brought us to where we are today. From 'Big Bang' of 1986 that irrevocably changed the culture of banking - and of the UK - through to the global financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent banking scandals, the people, ideas and very existence of the City have been under scrutiny as never before. In this eclectic and entertaining collection, Martin Vander Weyer brings a sharp eye and a very personal style to bear on often controversial topics, alongside recollections of life in the City and dissections of the current state of play; deliciously evocative accounts of travel, culture, food and daily life; and, very occasionally, reflections on the travails of middle age. Beautifully written, this collection offers an entirely unique, sometimes surprising, but always beguiling perspective on our changing times.
Gerard Lee Bevan was the model of an Edwardian swell - arrogant, smooth, well-connected and highly cultured. He married money and influence - his wife Sophie Kenrick was a cousin of the future prime minister Neville Chamberlain - and over the years he kept a string of showgirl mistresses. But his was a success built on fraud and deception, and eventually Bevan could sustain the fiction no longer. After a series of desperate swerves, he fled the country on 8 February 1922, abandoning his family and leaving his stockbroking and insurance empire in ruins. Thus began an extraordinary flight across Europe - disguised as a Frenchman, using a stolen passport, with his mistress at his side. His subsequent arrest in Vienna, and the Old Bailey trial that followed, would shock the entire country. 'Fortune's Spear' is a parable of the way in which the prospect of easy money draws risk-takers in every era into a spiral of greed and deceit. Bevan may have been forgotten, but he richly deserves to be remembered. Drawing on c ontemporary evidence and told with novelistic flair, Martin Vander Weyer's gripping biography brings him vividly to life.