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No More Champagne: Churchill and His Money

David Lough is the author of “No More Champagne: Churchill and His Money” which will be published in the U.S. in November.

‘Churchill and his Money: A Perfect Sieve’ tells the fascinating story of Churchill’s lifetime of tangled personal finances. Meticulously researched by a senior private banker now turned historian, it reveals for the first time the full extent of the iconic British war leader’s private struggle to maintain a way of life instilled by his upbringing and expected of his public position.

David Lough uses Churchill’s own most private records, many never researched before, to chronicle his family’s chronic shortage of money, his own extravagance and his recurring losses from gambling or trading in shares and currencies. Churchill tried to keep himself afloat by borrowing to the hilt, putting off bills and writing ‘all over the place’; when all else failed, he had to ask family or friends to come to the rescue. This they did on no fewer than six occasions unearthed by Lough, the last when Churchill became Prime Minister in 1940. Yet within five years he had taken advantage of his worldwide celebrity to transform his private fortunes with the same ruthlessness as he waged war, reaching 1945 with today’s equivalent of £3 million in the bank. His lucrative war memoirs were still to come.

Throughout the story, Lough highlights the threads of risk, energy, persuasion and sheer willpower to survive that link Churchill’s private and public lives. He shows how constant money pressures often tempted him to short-circuit the ethical standards expected of public figures in his day before usually pulling back to put duty first - except where the taxman was involved.

About David Lough:

Born in 1950, David Lough won an open history scholarship to Oxford University where he won 1st class honours, studying under historians Richard Cobb, Michael Howard and Theodore Zeldin. He pursued a career in financial markets, starting in Asia and investment banking, before founding a private banking business in 1988. It was sold in 2013, by which time it employed a hundred people advising many prominent families across the range of their private affairs, including their investments, tax affairs and inheritance planning.

A former member of the London Stock Exchange and Fellow of the Chartered Securities Institute who has acted as ‘blind trustee’ for government ministers while in office, David Lough returned to history on his retirement, using his experience to research the untold story of Winston Churchill’s tangled financial affairs. He edited a magazine that he founded in the 1990s and has written regularly for the wealth management industry and its publications. An experienced public speaker at conferences and dinners, he is a member of the London Library’s Founders’ Circle.

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