A truly amazing documentary series based on the book by Niall Ferguson of the same name. Niall Ferguson is a British historian that specializes in financial and economic history, and is particularly well known for his book (and television series) titled Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World .
The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World was Niall Ferguson’s tenth book which again became a channel 4 documentary series. In this program Niall Ferguson investigates the long history of money, credit & banking over 6 episodes. His narration of the series ensures that the story is both captivating and easily understood, even by those that have previously had no interest in the subject matter.
Niall Ferguson is currently the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University.
Note: Due to copyright issues you must watch these videos on Channel 4′s You Tube Webpage (correct links given)
Episode 1: Dreams of Avarice. Professor Niall Ferguson attempts to explain the historic origins of credit and debt. To get his points across Professor Ferguson discusses shylocks and travels to his home town of Glasgow in an attempt to explain why credit networks are essential.
The Ascent of Money :Dreams of Avarice. (Click To Watch)
Episode 2: Human Bondage. A look at the historic relevance of the bond market, particularly how it was used to fund wars. Particular attention is paid to the Rothschilds and how they became the biggest and most powerful family in the 19th century.
The Ascent of Money :Human Bondage. (Click To Watch)
Episode 3: Blowing Bubbles. The professor looks at stockmarket bubbles and crashes, and attempts to prove that humans have a natural instinct to follow the crowd and why nobody really knows which way the market may go. Professor Ferguson looks particularly close at the collapse of Enron and the first major instance of a bubble market, created by financier John Law.
The Ascent of Money :Blowing Bubbles. (Click To Watch)
Episode 4: Risky Business. Professor Niall Ferguson looks at the insurance market while travelling to New Orleans and discussing hurricane Katrina and the reasons why insurance is not currently adequately protecting people from catastrophes. This episode as is probably now expected by the viewer looks at the history of insurance.
The Ascent of Money :Risky Business. (Click To Watch)
Episode 5: Safe As Houses. Basically a look at the housing market collapse, with special mention being made to mortgages and the economic theories and problems surrounding them. Professor Niall Ferguson looks particularly closely at the transfer of assets from the state to citizens, and the process of selling mortgage debt in bundles to investment firms.
The Ascent of Money: Safe As Houses. (Click To Watch)
Episode 6: Chimerica. The growth of the markets once called the emerging markets and why these are deemed better investment ground than the US and UK. The episode covers the growth of China and the American debt to the poor Chinese savers.