02 Mar

The 2022 Tacitus Lecture: Finance and the City in the Age of Historical Reckoning

The 35th Tacitus Lecture, Finance and the City in the Age of Historical Reckoning was given by David Olusoga OBE on Thursday 24th February 2022.

Over the past two years Britain, like many other countries across the world, has entered an age of reckoning. Chapters from our past that for centuries have been brushed to the margins are now the focus of intense academic study. Some have become front page news. The historical reputations of supposedly ‘great men’ have crumbled, streets and buildings have been renamed and statues have fallen. History is not being ‘erased’, as some politicians like to claim. Rather aspects of our past that earlier generations sought to erase are being recovered. The accepted biographies of the powerful are being shown to have been selectively written. Millions of people have come to understand that statues and memorials, rather than telling us our history, have been used to disguise aspects of it; in particular the histories of the victims. At centre of this age of reckoning are the histories of slavery and empire; both phenomenon in which the City of London and the world of finance were deeply involved.

What we are living through is not a passing academic fashion but a profound cultural shift, beneath which lies seismic generational change. New investigations into the past, many of them launched by institutions and corporations themselves, are not just uncovering missing chapters of our past, they are making clear the connection between historic slavery and the exploitation of imperial rule and inequalities and disadvantage in the Britain of today. But how should institutions and the nation react to this profound re-calibration not just of our history but of our traditional relationship to history?

We look forward to an insightful and just insight into the re-calibration of our history and operating models within the City.

35th Tacitus Lecture Sponsors

The 2022 Tacitus Lecture was sponsored by:

Platinum Sponsors

Bayes Business School (formerly Cass) and the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Black Business Association.

Bronze Sponsors

Alembic Strategy was our Bronze Sponsor and the Worshipful Company of World Traders would also like to thank one of its members for an anonymous donation.

Zoe Buckingham