Lords of Finance Author Ahamed to Discuss Economic Crisis in April 7 Lecture

Thomas R. Williams Distinguished Lecture will showcase author Liaquat Ahamed


Liaquat Ahamed, author of the best-selling book Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World, will discuss parallels between the Great Depression and the current economic crisis on Wednesday April 7 in the second annual Thomas R. Williams Distinguished Lecture.

Ahamed, whose talk is titled "Lessons from the Great Depression," will speak from 4:30 to 5:30 PM in LeCraw Auditorium of the Management building (800 West Peachtree Street NW). A reception with light refreshments will follow in the Thornton Atrium.

Ahamed, who has been a professional investment manager for 25 years, won the 2009 Financial Times-Goldman Sachs Best Business Book of the Year for Lords of Finance, which discusses the lead up to the Great Depression. According to a review in The New York Times, the book "easily connects the dots between the economic crises that rocked the world during the years his book covers and the emergencies that beset us today."

While conventional wisdom holds that the Great Depression that began in 1929 resulted from a confluence of events beyond any one person's or government's control, Ahamed writes that the decisions taken by a small number of central bankers were the primary cause of the economic meltdown— the effects of which set the stage for World War II and reverberated for decades.

Through the years, Ahamed has worked at the World Bank in Washington and the New York-based partnership of Fischer Francis Trees and Watts, where he served as chief executive. He is currently an adviser to several hedge fund groups, including the Rock Creek Group and the Rohatyn Group. He also is a director of Aspen Insurance Co. and serves on the board of trustees of the Brookings Institution and the New America Foundation.
About the Williams Lecture

The Williams lecture is named in honor of Thomas R. Williams, a 1950 graduate of Georgia Tech who died in 2002.

After graduation, Williams worked as an industrial engineer and then a management consultant before joining National City Bank of Cleveland in 1965. He became chairman of that bank in 1969, three years before being named president of First National Bank of Atlanta.

He guided First National from third place to first in metro Atlanta deposits, eventually helping arrange that bank's merger with Wachovia in 1985. He became chairman of the board of Wachovia, and then retired in 1987.

More than a talented executive, Williams was an important civic leader, volunteering for many cultural and educational organizations. He served as president of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the United Negro College Fund, among many other activities.

The Williams Lecture is a special event of the IMPACT Speaker Series, organized by Georgia Tech's Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship.


The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.