The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World
Bread, cash, dosh, dough, loot, lucre, moolah, readies, the wherewithal: Call it what you like, it matters. To Christians, love of it is ...more
Imperialism: The Darwinian Justification
Ferguson contends that today’s financial world is the result of four millennia of economic evolution. It is very important to the aims of this book that this metaphor is accepted. Ferguson looks at this evolution of money into the complicated financial ecosystem of today. He explores how money mutated into new tools/organisms and acquired characteristics that allowed it to meet the needs of its users/demands of its environment better. The tools that help ...more
Another book from the vaguely centrist right, you know them, those economists and Greek translators and philosophers from the University of Chicago who assisted Pinochet in his fascist coup, won Nobel Prizes, misconstrued Plato to fit their world-view (I'm looking at you, Leo Strauss), and finally, today, when they are primarily involved in teaching a new generation to do the same things.
Well, Ferguson perhaps isn't so vehemently rabid about his political beliefs, and he doesn't ...more
Contemplating the title of this book, my first thought was that it was by a person of the political left, maybe not the Pope, but an anti-capitalist and moralizer on the all-around evil of the financial system.
"No," said the person who recommended it to me; "He's center right."
So, then I saw the title as deriving from the bad-boy mentality of the author, thumbing his nose at such views. The author has his own intended reference--to The Ascent of Man, a TV series by Jacob Bronowski that impacted ...more
And this is a pity, as there are many things about money I would like a deeper u ...more
Cicero - 55 BC
So what have we learned in 2 Millennia? Evidently nothing?
Ferguson argued that financial markets are like the mirror of mankind, revealing the works of how we function in ...more
This book described the development of modern finance and banking system, staring from Renaissance Italy, the Medici family, the rising of the Rothschild family after the Waterloo, all the way do ...more
Harvard history professor explains the origins of not only coins, paper money, and electronic money, but also stocks, bonds, and insurance. (Bonds and insurance are way more important than I had realized.) Very hel ...more
Money ....Money ...Money....
The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World by Harvard professor Niall Ferguson, examines long history of money, credit, and banking. Since this book is all about history don’t think it’s dry and unreadable... it very readable, interesting and with substance. The most interesting thing about this book which I felt is the blend of W ...more
However, what this book doesn't tell you is that it's written for someone with a much higher understanding of global finance than I currently posess. I'm a financial and economic newbie, having only read Empire of Wealth and little else to increase my understanding of t ...more
if you want to check them out.
I am quite weak on financial history, so this book made an excellent beginning remedial course. I don't think one should stop here, however. But I did find Ferguso ...more
Given everything that is going on around us these days, this is an excellent read. Highly recommended.
Niall Ferguson focuses his history of the world on its finances. He succeeds in explaining the origins, evolution, and present state of currency, bonds, stocks, insurance, property, and financial wizardry. There's plenty I still don't know, but looking at the world through the prism of money usually explains a lot. And while Karl ...more
The political and economic doctrines of the author are obvious in the reading of the book, as pointed out by other reviews ...more
As a historical overview, it touches on the earliest forms of exchange (and money) as well as the development of various financial schemes and instruments over the past two thousand years. Given that it was written to accompany the development of the series, it probably contains ...more
One of Ferguson’s driving points is made early on, and is repeated throughout his book. That is, he vehemently and persuasively argues that capitalism – to riff Churchill’s critique of democracy – may be a horrible form of economi ...more
This is exactly a kind of book wherein:
1) you have to read more books;
2) you must read more books;
3) there is a need to read more books,
because of its highly annotated and referenced texts. The endnotes is actually 35 pages long citing numerous books, working papers, journals, news articles, etc.
Niall Ferguson makes a strong, compelling case for the development of money and banking as a catalyst for the advancement of civilization. Yet while some critics praised his clear, comprehensible writing, punctuated with anecdotes and historical details, others were nonplussed by his explanations and narrative detours. Several critics also bemoaned the book's choppy and uneven structure
Niall Ferguson has put together an impressive piece of literature on financial history which dates back to early 13th century to the last year's sub-prime crisis. The book has some very clear and precise historical facts with in-numerable quotations (for people wh ...more
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