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Bringing context and understanding to the current economic crisis, historian Niall Ferguson tells the story of money and the rise - and spectacular falls - of global finance throughout the ages

About the Show

Bringing context and understanding to the current economic crisis, historian Niall Ferguson tells the story of money and the rise - and spectacular falls - of global finance throughout the ages

Series 1 Summary

Professor Niall Ferguson examines the origins of the pillars of the world's financial system, and how behind every great historical phenomenon - empires and republics, wars and revolutions - there lies a financial secret.

  • Manhattan

    Episode 1

    In this series, historian Professor Niall Ferguson tackles the story of money and the rise of global finance, arguing that behind every historical phenomenon, there lies a financial secret.

  • Niall Ferguson at the Tokyo Stock Exchange

    Episode 2

    Professor Niall Ferguson explores the ascent of one of the great pillars of the modern financial system: the bond market.

  • An oil pipeline

    Episode 3

    Niall Ferguson shows why human beings have a herding instinct when it comes to investment, and why no one can accurately predict when the bulls might suddenly stampede.

  • Flooding in New Orleans

    Episode 4

    Niall Ferguson travels to New Orleans, post-Hurricane Katrina, to ask why the free market can't provide adequate protection against catastrophe and hardship

  • A suburban house in the US

    Episode 5

    Niall Ferguson explains how we got hooked on the idea of a property-owning democracy, and why the unintended consequence of 'securitizing' mortgages was a global financial crisis.

  • A neon sign

    Episode 6

    In the final programme Professor Niall Ferguson's final question is: What happens when you globalise Western financial institutions: the banks, bond and stock markets?