Former Bank of England governor Lord King names Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince as his favourite book; says he likes the “ruthless truth telling” in 16th century book about power

Lord King names Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince as his favourite book

Former Bank of England governor Lord King says he likes the “ruthless truth telling” in 16th century book about power

By Andrew Trotman

8:00PM GMT 04 Feb 2014

Former Bank of England governor Lord King has revealed that Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince, the 16th guidebook on power beloved by Napoleon, Stalin and Nixon, is his favourite book.

“It’s a tremendous read,” the former Bank of England governor told BBC Radio 4’s A Good Read. “What I liked about The Prince is that far from being cynical, it exhibits what John Maynard Keynes once called ruthless truth telling.”

Despite the fact The Prince was written to flatter the ruling Florentine Medici family, the book has taken on negative connotations when linked to Western politics.

“What I liked about The Prince is that far from being cynical, in my view, it exhibits what John Maynard Keynes once called ruthless truth telling,” Lord King said. “He’s being extraordinarily clear and objective about what is required to obtain and stay in power.”

The book, published in 1532, five years after Machiavelli’s death, is a “forerunner” to modern politics, and politicians “do need to understand what it takes to win power and why they’re doing it”, he added.

Lord King points to one passage in The Prince that reads: “For, although one may be very strong in armed forces, yet in entering a province one has always need of the goodwill of the natives.”

“Well, 500 years later, maybe the modern princes who invaded Iraq would’ve done better to read The Prince again,” Lord King said.

 

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Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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