An Historical Precedent

October 2, 2018

From time to time, I run into an historical nugget that offers a link between competitive intelligence today and the distant past.

Most of the time, we talk about how CI was heavily influenced by what happens in government, and how modern CI borrows heavily from the government model. However, in the past, that was reversed.

Take, for example, this extract from a wonderful biographical history of the international banking family the Warburgs:

“Max Warburg attained eminence in the heyday of imperial intrigue [the “eve of World War I”], when statesmen picked countries ripe for exploitation on unfurled maps and bankers served their will. Private bankers were ideal channels for such covert action because they didn’t answer to shareholders or publish balance sheets. They also prized intelligence and operated with sphinxlike discretion that mimicked diplomatic activity.”[1]

[1]Ron Chernow, The Warburgs, Random House, NY, 1993, p. 141.


One Comment on “An Historical Precedent”

  1. Tim Powell says:

    Nice, John.

    I never bought into the “government does it best” thing. It’s self-serving BS, TBH. There is nothing government does best, in my experience.

    There is a juicy new history of intelligence by Chris Andrews that I’ve been ploughing through while recovering from surgery. You’d like it, and it provides assurance that intelligence was not invented by Sherman Kent, nor by George Washington – though both of course played huge roles.

    Andrews traces intelligence back to the Bible’s oldest stories…

    tp

    T I M . P O W E L L
    DIRECT/MOBILE +1.212.243.1200
    ZOOM 212-243-1200

    From: Proactive Intelligence
    Reply-To: Proactive Intelligence
    Date: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at 11:08 AM
    To: Tim Powell
    Subject: [New post] An Historical Precedent

    John McGonagle posted: “October 2, 2018 From time to time, I run into an historical nugget that offers a link between competitive intelligence today and the distant past. Most of the time, we talk about how CI was heavily influenced by what happens in government, and how moder”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s