Every Sunday we’ll pluck just one walk from the vast London Walks repertoire and put it centre stage.
You can check out the full schedule at www.walks.com.
THE CITY OF MONEY – Coming Across*
Runs at 4.30 pm on the five Sundays in March this year (2014): March 2, March 9, March 16, March 23 & March 30.
Same meeting point: exit 2 of St. Paul's Tube
A plunge into the darkness and swirling fog. No, not Victorian London. Our London. Or rather, their London. The London of the wolves of Threadneedle Street and Lombard Street. Financial London. The Wall Street of Europe London. And darkness and swirling fog because – well, do you really know what a hedge fund is? Or a derivative? Or short-selling? Or how the stock market works? Do you really know What. Money. Really. Is. And how it shapes the world. No? Well, it just might behove you to do so. Behove you to do so because ostriching it – "nothing to do with me" – won't get you off the hook. Off "their" hook. In short, this London – Money London – has everything to do with your life. So let's go see these places.** And more importantly, let's go see into*** them.
*Coming Across because the City makes us all "come across". But also of course because of what we come across – what we happen on to, discover. And, yes, the suggestion that the walk runs counter to – or cuts across – the usual official, anodyne, window dressing palavver about the City and its doings. And, finally, the mark of Zorro (so to speak) that Richard's across all of that: Knows. What. Money. Really. Is. Knows how it works. Knows its subterfuges.
**A sampler: Wren's gateway, the high-tech home of the Stock Exchange, Goldsmiths' Hall, the ancient home of the Corporation of London and its beautiful Wren church...
***"Chapter headings" include: Why did a hurricane sweep in from those far flung South Seas? How did a medieval order of knights become the first international bankers? Peek-a-boo it's the home of the masters of the universe and more than one US Treasury Secretary. Lessons in finance from George Soros. Learning how to break the British pound and make a billion. Where the ‘Thundering Herd’ rode their luck over a cliff. John Law’s amazing philosopher’s stone, which he created thanks to the Chinese.
Last point: if this walk were a sword it'd be made of the finest Toledo steel. Ice-brook tempered. Which is by way of saying, this one hasn't been whipped up just like that. A great deal has gone into it – and it's been honed for years. For example, some of the steel in the blade has come from Richard's book, Who Cares? Or Why War, Poverty, Environmental Destruction and Debt Are So Popular. Some of it's come from the hugely popular walk the Occupy group conducted two years ago. Elements of it have come from thinkers ranging from Adam Smith and David Ricardo to Friedrich Hayek and Joseph Stizlitz. And all of it's been sharpened – for years – by arguably the finest mind on the team.
To go on The City of Money walk meet Richard just outside exit 2 of St. Paul's Tube. The walk ends near Bank Tube.
A London Walk costs £9 – £7 concession. To join a London Walk, simply meet your guide at the designated tube station at the appointed time. Details of all London Walks can be found at www.walks.com.