The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World
Niall Ferguson follows the money to tell the human story behind the evolution of our financial system, from its genesis in ancient Mesopotamia to the latest upheavals on what he calls Planet Finance. What?s more, Ferguson reveals financial history as the essential backstory behind all histor...more
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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
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
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
Given everything that is going on around us these days, this is an excellent read. Highly recommended.
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 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
Nobody in their right mind would build a space-based assassination laser and hand it over to the federal government, or any government, because it's insane to cook up supervillain-type weapons in the first place.** But if you divide up the labor into a series of abstract engineering problems, pretty soon you've got Val Kilmer designing the mother of all cosmic...more
The book is famous for its bold conclusion that development finance is primarily responsible for the evolution of human history. Few strong statements supporting this view jump out of the 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
As other reviewers have noted, t...more
Money is an important part of life, and is taught in schools in terms of mathematics, economics and history.
This book exams why and how money was created, the way it has changed, and many aspects of it's use in our lives. The wheeling and dealing that makes the economy such a snake pit is shown to have causes and previous examples in history. We don't always seem to learn from our mistakes, but sometimes we...more
Read this book and you will understand why, paradoxically, the people who live in the world’s safest country are also the world’s most insured. - location 71
The theme of my speech was that it would not take much to cause a drastic decline in the liquidity that was then cascading throug...more
Despite that, this is a serverly flawed book:
1) Weak Thesis
However, his evolution of finance thesis (that finance evolves from loan-shark lending to a more just form of lending - and that t...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
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
The political and economic doctrines of the author are obvious in the reading of the book, as pointed out by other reviews...more
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