The Ascent of Money
Harvard historian Niall Ferguson discusses his book, The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World. In the conversation, drawing on insights from the biological sciences, Ferguson describes the rise and evolution of finance focusing on insurance, banks, and the bond market.
Using the examples of housing and the U.S. China economic relationship, Ferguson demonstrates the way history can inform our understanding of the current financial crisis.
He also reflects on the implications of the financial crisis for American global hegemony.
How did finance become the realm of the masters of the universe? Through the rise of the bond market in Renaissance Italy. With the advent of bonds, war finance was transformed and spread to north-west Europe and across the Atlantic.
It was the bond market that made the Rothschilds the richest and most powerful family of the 19th century. And today governments are asking it to bail them out.