Freud in the City by David Freud – MoneyWeek

ButDavidFreud,grandsonofSigmund,hasmadeavaliantattempttomaketheworldofmoneycomealiveinhismemoirof20yearsofdealmaking–spanningtheerajustbeforetheBigBangtohisretirementin2003。

FreudbeganhiscareerasawriterontheFT’s‘Lex’column。

HemovedtoSGWarburgSecuritiesin1984andwaspromotedtoseniorcorporatefinancieratUBSaftertheSwissbankacquiredWarburg。

FreudquicklymadehismarkasIPOking,saysAlistairOsborneinTheDailyTelegraph。

Thebookfocusesonhisforte–doingdeals–fromBritishAirways’privatisationto“entertainingaccounts”ofthesellingofEurotunnel,EuroDisneyandRailtrack,wheremarketingplayedacrucialroleincreatinginvestorinterest。

Heremarkstoothatafairnumberofissuesturnedouttobedogs,saysMatthewLynnonBloomberg。

“Ihadsuccessfullysoldthemarketapup,”hesaysofEuroDisney’sinitialpublicoffering–apromotionthatincludedhiringateamofdancerswhowerepeltedwitheggsbyunimpressedtradersinParis。

FurtherrevelationscomefromapositivepictureofJohnPrescott,saysMaggieUrryintheFT。

FreudrecallsafraughtmeetinginJanuary1998,atwhichheconfessedtothedeputyprimeministerthathisteamhadgotitssumssowrongovertheChannelTunnelRailLinkthatitwasdesperatelyseeking£1。

2bnofpublicmoneytobridgethegap。

Aftera“carefulandextendedcross-examination”,Prescottdeclinedtherequest。

Suchfranknessisjustonemeritofthis“engagingandamusingautobiography”,saysMartinDicksonintheFT。

Freudisa“naturalstoryteller”,abletowriteaboutcomplicatedmattersinplainEnglishandhiseasy,colourfulaccountoftriumphsanddisastersishelpedbya“superhumanabilitytorememberconversationslongago”。

But“adescendentofthefounderofpsychoanalysis”couldhaveoffered“morepenetratinginsight”,suggestsLynn。

Freud’sgrandfathermighthavewantedmoreonhowhefeltabouthisexperiences。

WhatmotivatestheCity’sdealmakerstoworksohard,forexample?

Dotheyreallyneedsomuchmoney?

Andifso,why?