The name Rothschild has become synonymous
with wealth, and the story of this money-making family started with a man called Mayer Amschel
Rothschild. His beginnings were what you might call humble, since he lived in a Jewish ghetto
in Frankfurt, Germany, sharing a house with another 30 people. Both his parents died from
smallpox when he was just 12 years old, and prior to that it was their wish that he become
a rabbi. That didn’t happen, and instead at age just 13 the young Rothschild started
an apprenticeship at a bank in Hanover. Through his teens he practiced commodities and money-trading
as well as sold rare coins. Through that he rubbed shoulders with German nobility, and
while he was working, he was also making children, ten in all. Let’s now see what happened
next, in this episode of the Infographics Show, How much money do the Rothschilds have? So, we know it all started with Mayer Amschel
Rothschild. In fact, this man is sometimes called “The founding father of international
finance.” We know he had ten kids, and five of those were sons. Each of these sons was
responsible for running a finance house in Europe’s centers of finance. This family,
or empire, worked under the motto: Unity, Integrity, Industry. We are told that understanding
all the ways this family earned its fortune is not exactly clear, with one journalist
saying, “There is no book about them that is both revealing and accurate. Libraries
of nonsense have been written about them.” We do know that war made the family rich,
with the Rothschild making hay during a time when the European sun shone on conflict after
conflict. The family lent money to governments to finance war and also had a hand in many
industries. Before Mayer Rothschild left planet Earth in 1812, he had thought up ways to keep
all the money he and his sons had made by maintaining a close knit family. According
to an article in Discover magazine in 2003 called, “Go Ahead, Kiss Your Cousin,”
the plan was for cousins to marry cousins, thereby keeping the money in a close gene
pool. That magazine tells us, “For generations the Rothschild family had been inbreeding
almost as intensively as European royalty.” It also tells us, “Four of Mayer’s granddaughters
married grandsons, and one married her uncle. These were hardly people whose mate choice
was limited by the distance they could walk on their day off.” We are told that of Mayer’s five sons it
was the third that made the most cash. His name was Nathan Mayer Rothschild. Nathan made
a lot money funding infrastructure in Europe, and this was a Europe that was growing at
hyper-speed because of the industrial revolution. He moved to the center of that revolution,
England, in 1798. There he started a textile business and also began trading on the London
Stock Exchange. Soon enough he would have his own bank, and that was called N M Rothschild
& Sons Ltd. We are told that during the Napoleonic Wars the bank pretty much financed Britain’s
entire war effort. But lending money to governments wasn’t the only way of making huge amounts
of money. Insurance was a game that the Rothschilds played. Nathan, along with a partner, founded
the Alliance Assurance Company in 1824. The Rothschild Archives tell us this was a direct
challenge to Lloyds bank. The family were busy to say the least, buying up expensive
tracts of land in London, helping Brazil gain its independence, financing massive projects
such as the building of the Suez Canal, while also using its capital to help the founding
of some of the world’s biggest companies. It also lent money to Japan, so it could finance
its side of the Russo-Japanese War. Nathan, now Lord Rothschild, had his finger in so
many pies that he was sometimes called the most powerful man in Britain. It was Nathan who started the philanthropic
activities of the Rothschilds. He had seven kids of his own, each of whom either went
into the business or spent much of their time with the charity side of the business. This
included building schools, libraries, hospitals, orphanages and places where the old could
live their dying years in peace. But peace in the early 20th century was not
exactly in the air. Investopedia tells us there was in-fighting in the early 20th century,
which was detrimental to the family wealth. We are told that during WW2 the family also
lost many properties, while the Nazis stole millions of dollars’ worth of assets from
the Rothschilds. Still, the family was never exactly broke. We are told that these days
the family fortune is still considerable, and it still has its fingers in many, many
pies, with finance, real estate, mining and energy being some of the bigger pies. Some
smaller businesses include things like owning wineries, of which the Rothschild own quite
a few on different sides of the world. The family is also the proud owner of the one
of the biggest art collections in the world, and the mind boggles as to how much that collection
is worth. There are many descendants in this family, and the wealth stays with them. You
can easily find a list of all these descendants, and you’ll see that here are way too many
people for us to discuss in detail. For that reason adding up what the entire
family is worth is no easy feat, but people have tried do it. We might look at the Forbes
richest people list, which has few Rothschilds on it. Coming in at No. 84 for 2018 was a
man called Benjamin de Rothschild, and it’s said he has a net worth of about $1.7 billion.
That’s enough not to stress about the electricity bill and his three kids’ school fees, but
in terms of billionaires he is nothing special. But then Forbes tells us his job is to preside
over the Edmond de Rothschild global finance empire, and that is said to manage assets
of up to $170 billion, including banks, hotels and restaurants. Benjamin also owns, or part
owns, vineyards in France, South Africa, Argentina and New Zealand. And as we said, this is just
one guy in a very big family. No one Rothschild family member has an obscene
amount of wealth, meaning no one Rothschild is about to match the wealth of people such
as Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, but when you add all those assets together it does come
to a lot of money. Searching for the magic number regarding the
net worth of all the family you’ll find sources that differ drastically. We found
one site that said the entire family fortune could be as much as 2 trillion dollars, but
the website Bankrate believes it’s nowhere near that amount. It says the Rothchild family
net worth is closer to $400 billion, and again, we must stress there are a lot of mouths to
feed in this large family. Bankrate tells us one of the big money spinners is the Rothschild
Group investment firm, which pulls in around $500 million a year. Then you have all the conspiracy theory sites,
and they tell a totally different story. One such website tells us that the Rothschilds
had a hand in the assassination of American President John F. Kennedy, and that the family
is worth an astounding five hundred trillion dollars. Hmm. That particular site, one that
seems to lack any kind of journalistic integrity, tells us Jacob Rothschild is worth more than
Bill Gates. This should be taken with a pinch of salt until someone can offer serious counter
evidence. Other resources tell us Jacob, the 82-year old British investment banker, is
worth more like five billion dollars, which pales in comparison to the Gates fortune. Let’s see what those intrepid fact-finders
over at Snopes tell us about the 500 trillion figure. Well, the first thing you can read
in that story is that the Rothschilds owning such wealth is FALSE. It shows us an amusing
meme of Jacob, who quite amusingly is made to look just like Mr. Burns from the Simpsons.
Snopes tells us that the “grossly exaggerated” wealth that some people talk about is another
conspiracy tied up with paranoid platitudes along the lines of the Jews run the world
and the illuminati controls everything. Snopes tells us when the 500 trillion number was
first disseminated through the sometimes dishonest-heart of the internet, the world’s wealth was
reported at only $250 trillion. This, said Snopes, is problematic. It certainly is. It
sounds like a children’s math question. “In the box there are 10 apples. Jane took
four, Peter took two, Jacob took twenty. How many apples are there left?” Snopes says
that while many family members are indeed rich, the Rothschilds don’t have anywhere
near the global influence they used to have. So, what are all these people worth, and we
are talking about everything, all assets, business, etc? Investopedia published two
stories about this and each in its turn was taken down with the website saying that the
journalism was “inadequately sourced.” One story said the family’s net worth was
$350 billion and another said the family controlled more than $2 trillion worth in assets. You
can still see these numbers on other sites, with links back to Investopedia. But as Investopedia
wants nothing to do with these numbers, we would be better looking elsewhere.
CNBC you would think would do its homework when adding up rich family wealth, but when
it did its list it said it couldn’t include families such as the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers
because the wealth is just too diversified. Ok, we are getting nowhere here, and the reason
is because no reliable journalistic sources have attempted to give us a number on this
diversified wealth. If we look at Forbes rich list again, Jacob Rothschild doesn’t even
get on the list with his purported 5 billion. We should add that it seems this number was
first let loose by the website The Richest. But on the Forbes list we have Benjamin, who
we have already talked about, and also Jeff Rothschild, who is said to be worth about
$2.2 billion right now. You could call this 63-year old Silicon Valley resident a more
modern kind of Rothschild as he made a ton of money in tech, such as Facebook. But then
it gets tricky, because his bio states he is not part of the Rothschild family. It seems
not everyone agrees with that statement, but we’ll take him for his word. So, how much is the family worth? The mining,
the finance, the energy, the arts, the wine, the properties? We must tell you that we don’t
feel after our little investigation that we could give you even a ballpark figure. The
Financial Times doesn’t even dare to state what it thinks the family is worth. Back in
2010 the newspaper said, “The ownership structure is opaque, which makes it hard to
estimate the family wealth, although it is one of the richest in the world.” We know the net worth of the family is many,
many billions, but hundreds of billions, or trillions? What we’d like to do now is ask
you to give us a ballpark figure. Tell us in the comments. Also, be sure to check out
our other show This Is How Warren Buffett Made $85 Billion. Thanks for watching, and
as always, don’t forget to like, share and subscribe. See you next time.

Is The Rothschild Family The Richest In The World?

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