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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

    Risky Business: 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

    Chimerica: 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?

The Ascent of Money synopsis

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

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