Fun Facts Friday: Paul Erdman

May 19, 2017

Paul Erdman (19 May, 1932 – 23 April, 2007) was a financial and business writer. He was known for writing novels based on historical facts and complex financial intrigues.

Books by Paul Erdman*

1)      The author earned a PhD in economics and was a former Lutheran seminarian.

2)      He was the first American to establish a private bank in Switzerland.

3)      The bank collapsed because of unauthorized speculation in cocoa and silver futures.

4)      Mr. Erdman started to write in a Swiss jail where he was serving time for his role in the collapse of a bank he ran.

5)      The jail Mr. Erdman was until he was charged was a 17th century dungeon in Basel, complete room services and wines.

6)      He is credited with popularizing financial fiction (affectionately called fi-fi).

7)      The reason he wrote a novel was because the dungeon did not have a research library.

8)      One of the inmates occupying the dungeon with Mr. Erdman was a French safecracker. Mr. Erdman traded wine for knowledge on safecracking and that became the first chapter in his book.

9)      From a business perspective, Mr. Erdman considered his time in jail as a positive.

10)   Mr. Erdman’s novels were routinely reviewed win Business Week and The American Banker – one of the few novelists who had that honor.

Books by Paul Erdman*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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