RIESSER, JACOB (1853–1932), German jurist and banker. A nephew of Gabriel *Riesser, Jacob Riesser was born in Frankfurt. He was baptized in his youth. In 1880 he opened a lawyer's office in his home town. In 1888 he moved to Berlin and served as a director of the Darmstaedter Bank fuer Handel und Gewerbe until 1905, when he became a professor of law at the University of Berlin. His writings on legal aspects of the German capital market decisively influenced stock exchange and banking legislation. It was on his initiative that the Zentralverband des deutschen Bank- und Bankiergewerbes was formed in 1901, and in 1905 he became the editor of Bankarchiv, the profession's leading periodical. In 1909 he was a cofounder of the Hansabund, an industrial-commercial organization designed to oppose the government's proagricultural policies and attitudes. During 1916–28 he served as deputy in the Reischstag, first with the National Liberals, and from 1918 with the Volkspartei, and as vice president of the German parliament from 1921 to 1928. He was also a member of the 1919 Weimar Constituent Assembly.
His many publications include the standard work Die deutschen Grossbanken und ihre Konzentration im Zusammenhang mit der Entwicklung der Gesamtwirtschaft in Deutschland (1905; The German Great Banks and Their Concentration in Connection with the Economic Development of Germany, 1911), and Finanzielle Kriegsbereitschaft und Kriegsfuehrung ("Financial Preparation for War and for Making War," 19132).
E. Hamburger, Juden im oeffentlichen Leben Deutschlands, 19 (1968), 361–3; J. Riesser, Erinnerung an meine geliebte Mutter Pauline Riesser (1895).
[Joachim O. Ronall]