The Ascent of Money

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Renowned historian Niall Ferguson looks into the history of money and how it makes the world turn. In The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World, he tells the human story behind the evolution of the world’s financial system, from its origins in Mesopotamia to the latest economic upheavals.


Niall Ferguson
News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [7]

Ro from SoHo

Following Leonard's parenthetic comment on pronunciation we Brits say 'a-SCENT' with the emphasis on the secod syllable.

Nov. 04 2009 01:57 PM
kp from new jersey

What else is a middle class American to do except own a home free and clear and save some money in a 401K? Where else should we put our money? They've taken our pensions and degraded federal bonds to zero interest.

Nov. 04 2009 01:51 PM
adair from brooklyn

please ask Niall Ferguson, if investing in stocks and real estate are not considered "diversifying" what is?

Nov. 04 2009 01:50 PM
Nolan from Manhattan

I'm not sure which "post-Marxists" Leonard or Mr. Ferguson are reading, but I know of no one who is predicting the immanent collapse of capitalism. If anything the bailout is consistent with the trajectory of capitalism over the history of crises. What needs to be reiterated, the real message of Marxists I'm reading, is that these crises are endemic to capitalism and they come in various scales every 15 years or so. "The assent of Money" was published to much greater effect in 1867 under the title "Das Kapital."

Nov. 04 2009 01:44 PM
Phil Henshaw from Washington Hts

Niall, You're overlooking how many natural system economies resolve their growth crisis,.. by reaching a durable stability at the peak of their vitality, rather than remaining forever unstable. It's both about a "bio-mimicry" of observed uncontrolled market processes in nature, ...and that pesky little bit of hidden JM Keynes, his very well reasoned solution for the sustainability of capitalism at climax. See my blog notes for various things and

Nov. 04 2009 01:40 PM
ebun from fort greene

What about the future the money at least in its paper form, will that soon become obsolete, giving way to electronic transactions?

Nov. 04 2009 07:42 AM
George from Bay Ridge

What does Mr. Ferguson think of the ongoing events in China and their combined spending and holding of US treasuries? How is the Chinese financial system different from the European or American experience?

Nov. 04 2009 03:08 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.