The Ascent of Money

The Ascent of Money

A Financial History of the World

Downloadable Audiobook - 2008
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Bread, cash, dough, loot, moolah, readies, the wherewithal: Call it what you like, it matters. To Christians, love of it is the root of all evil. To generals, it's the sinews of war. To revolutionaries, it's the chains of labor. But in The Ascent of Money, Niall Ferguson shows that finance is, in fact, the foundation of human progress. What's more, he reveals financial history as the essential back story behind all history.Through Ferguson's expert lens, familiar historical landmarks appear in a new and sharper financial focus. Suddenly, the civilization of the Renaissance looks very different: a boom in the market for art and architecture made possible when Italian bankers adopted Arabic mathematics. The rise of the Dutch republic is reinterpreted as the triumph of the world's first modern bond market over insolvent Habsburg absolutism. And the origins of the French Revolution are traced back to a stock market bubble caused by a convicted Scot murderer.With the clarity and verve for which he is known, Ferguson elucidates key financial institutions and concepts by showing where they came from. What is money? What do banks do? What's the difference between a stock and a bond? Why buy insurance or real estate? And what exactly does a hedge fund do?This is history for the present. Ferguson travels to post-Katrina New Orleans to ask why the free market can't provide adequate protection against catastrophe. He also delves into the origins of the subprime mortgage crisis.Perhaps most important, The Ascent of Money documents how a new financial revolution is propelling the world's biggest countries, India and China, from poverty to wealth in the space of a single generation-an economic transformation unprecedented in human history.Yet the central lesson of the financial history is that sooner or later every bubble bursts-sooner or later the bearish sellers outnumber the bullish buyers; and sooner or later greed flips into fear. And that is why, whether you're scraping by or rolling in it, there's never been a better time to understand the ascent of money.
Publisher: [United States] : Tantor Audio : Made available through hoopla, 2008
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9781400190331
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 audio file (11hr., 30 min.)) : digital
Additional Contributors: Prebble, Simon
hoopla digital


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ArapahoeAnna Feb 07, 2017

Very detailed micro-history of finance and the evolution of monetary systems. Alas the book was published just before the global financial crisis of 2007-2008, considered by many economists to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Ferguson does allude to instability and the possibility of the crash but it would have been nice to get his analysis of the most important economic event of our times. Maybe he will add a chapter to the next edition.

Jul 21, 2014

This book starts with origins of currency, evolution of banks and inflation.
Apparently investing in Gold is good way to protect oneself from inflation.

Mar 01, 2013

OK to read as a first introduction, but this is a potboiler, with no original information or insights, derived from Ferguson's TV series. Interestingly, his references to statistical issues (for example "Certainty" on pages 188-189) are incorrect.

Jun 16, 2011

Essential...You have to know this ok.
I can't stress that enough *wink *wink you have to know this...

Jul 05, 2010

A must read for anyone interested in finance, or money and banking. A very easy read and it can give anyone a good touch of history.


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