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    Niall Ferguson's "The Ascent of Money: The Financial History of the World" (documentary)

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    Niall Ferguson's "The Ascent of Money: The Financial History of the World" (documentary)

    Post by Lucid Memes on Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:06 pm

    I don't know so much about Niall Ferguson, but after reviewing his profile, I know right off the bat that there are things that I disagree with him about. And despite coming off as rather pompous and arrogant, he has put together some interesting works. I've always wanted to get a grasp of how money has influenced history...I think its rather obvious that money and finance are some of the most important features of mass political and social structuring as much as we sometimes hate to admit it; and as much has it's been neglected from public education for stratification purposes. So with that said, I'm not exactly sure how much he's presented that has been excluded or distorted for that reason, if it's even an issue here. But I'd figure it's a good start nonetheless.

    I have not watched every episode all the way through yet, but plan on doing so soon.

    Here's the PDF of the book this documentary is based on if you want more detail
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    Ep. 1: Dreams of avarice

    From Shylock's pound of flesh to the loan sharks of Glasgow, from the "promises to pay" on Babylonian clay tablets to Medici banking system. Professor Ferguson explains the origins of credit and debt and why credit networks are indispensable to any civilization.

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    Ep. 2: Human bondage

    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.

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    Ep. 3: Blowing bubbles

    Why do stock markets produce bubbles and busts? Professor Ferguson goes back to the origins of the joint stock company in Amsterdam and Paris. He draws telling parallels between the current stock market crash and the 18th century Mississippi Bubble of Scottish financier John Law and the 2001 Enron bankruptcy. He shows why humans have a herd instinct when it comes to investment, and why no one can accurately predict when the bulls might stampede.

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    Ep. 4: Risky business

    Life is a risky business – which is why people take out insurance. But faced with an unexpected disaster, the state has to step in. Professor Ferguson travels to post-Katrina New Orleans to ask why the free market can't provide adequate protection against catastrophe. His quest for an answer takes him to the origins of modern insurance in the early 19th century and to the birth of the welfare state in post-war Japan.

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    Ep. 5: Safe as houses

    It sounded so simple: give state-owned assets to the people. After all, what better foundation for a property-owning democracy than a campaign of privatisation encompassing housing? An economic theory says that markets can't function without mortgages, because it's only by borrowing against their assets that entrepreneurs can get their businesses off the ground. But what if mortgages are bundled together and sold off to the highest bidder?

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    Ep. 6: Chimerica


    Niall Ferguson investigates the globalisation of the Western economy and the uncertain balance between the important component countries of China and the US. In examining the last time globalisation took hold – before World War One, he finds a notable reversal, namely that today money is pouring into the English-speaking economies from the developing world, rather than out.

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    There it is. If you go to the PBS site, you'll be able to find the 4 hour and 2 hour versions if you're looking to save some time

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    Re: Niall Ferguson's "The Ascent of Money: The Financial History of the World" (documentary)

    Post by Extant on Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:53 pm

    Pompous and arrogant? Well he is a Bilderberger isn't he? Twisted Evil Thanks for the links, I shall check the documentaries out when I have some more time.
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    Re: Niall Ferguson's "The Ascent of Money: The Financial History of the World" (documentary)

    Post by Lucid Memes on Thu Dec 17, 2009 3:46 pm

    Yeah, I'm suspicious about that guy lol, but he's a pretty good teacher in the way he formats his presentations.

    He's into this concept of [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] which I think is fun for thought experiments. Its like butterfly effect of alternative history. But no nonsense AH, but things that are within a range of possibility.

    Its essential to learn what caused historical events or practices, it makes them much more easy to comprehend their significance in the larger picture.


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