If you want to dispense racist, historically ignorant nonsense about wealthy Jews, you can hardly do better than Facebook. Quite a few memes have been going around about the Rothschild family (which, full disclosure, I have absolutely no link to other than having the same last name) and I wanted to take a look at three that caught my eye.
The first is a picture of prominent family member Jacob Rothschild, a respected British investment banker and a direct descendent of Mayer Amschel Rothschild. While Jacob is renowned for his business acumen and philanthropy, this particular meme isn’t so respectful, contrasting him to a crudely drawn picture of billionaire tyrant character Montgomery Burns from the Simpsons.
There’s also some text, full of the usual Rothschild-related distortions and lies. Part of it reads:
“My family is worth 500 trillion dollars.”
This is a ludicrous accusation that seems to have appeared out of thin air and been accepted as gospel truth by internet conspiracy theorists and anti-Semites. It obviously doesn’t pass the smell test, but just to be sure I looked for the source of the claim. There isn’t one, or at least not one I could find. It appears to be completely made up. It’s also impossible. The entire amount of financial assets held by the population of the earth is a bit less than $200 trillion. As of 2011, the total worth of the derivatives market was about $600 trillion, and there’s nowhere near enough money in the world to pay that off should the need arise.
The richest living member of the Rothschild family, Benjamin de Rothschild, is estimated to be worth about two billion dollars. Only two Rothschilds, but not Jacob, appear on the Forbes list of richest people in the world – which, of course, has led to a separate conspiracy about Forbes colluding with the family to keep their true wealth quiet. But not so quiet as to keep internet sleuths in the dark, I guess.
As usual, this is a nugget of information that only those “with their eyes open” know.
“We own nearly every central bank in the world.”
There are all kinds of goofy conspiracies about the Rothschilds having central banks in all but 3 or 7 or 9 countries. However, as Brian pointed out in his Skeptoid episode about the Rothschild conspiracy theory, the era of the Rothschilds “controlling the world’s money supply” is long over. There are far more powerful banks around the world, controlling far greater sums of money.
The very fabric of the claim is silly. A “central bank” is by definition . . .