Struggle for Survival

The traditional trading business was interrupted during World War I from 1914 to 1918. The stock market crash in October 1929 didn’t leave M.M.Warburg & CO unscathed either. The crash resulted in a global economic crisis that continued until 1933. In Germany, political events increasingly curtailed the bank’s business operations.

1919    Carl Melchior, a partner at the bank since 1917, participates in the peace negotiations at Versailles as a member of the German peace and finance delegation; Max M. Warburg is a member of the German finance delegation. Both leave their delegations because they view the reparation requirements as unacceptable. They advise the imperial government not to sign the Treaty of Versailles.

1929    Despite the difficult economic situation, the bank increases its balance sheet to 382 million marks by 1929. It has 289 employees.

1936    Political pressure increases. However, Max M. Warburg reports in April that the number of bank clients in 1935 rose from 1,807 the year before to 2,183.

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