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Ascent of Money
Ascent of Money
Actor: Presented by Niall Ferguson
Director: Adrian Pennick
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Documentary
NR     2009     2hr 0min

In THE ASCENT OF MONEY, Ferguson whose series War of the World garnered critical attention last summer traces the evolution of money and demonstrates that financial history is the essential back-story behind all history. E...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Presented by Niall Ferguson
Director: Adrian Pennick
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Special Interests, Television, Documentary
Studio: Pbs (Direct)
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 04/07/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 2hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

An excellent survey of the financial crisis
Future Watch Writer | Washington, D.C. Area | 04/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"How did we get into the current financial mess? Niall Ferguson has put together one of the best programs on this. What's unique about Ferguson is a sense of history and time. He is one of the most creative historians in the world today. Ferguson goes back and studies the current crisis in terms of past crises. It's interesting that many big Wall Street firms used databases of only ten years in making hundreds of billions of dollars of real estate bets. Giant economic train wrecks are a part of free enterprise for better or worse. The 19th century was marked by a series of international financial disasters. (Contrary to what you might of heard, "globalization" is not new. In fact almost every major financial crisis of the last 200 years had international implications.) I would recommend Ferguson's book The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World I would also recommend Contours of the World Economy 1-2030 AD: Essays in Macro-Economic History This book is not easy reading but also has a unique value by going back hundred of years - not Wall Street's ten years. You'll find out that China as the world's largest economy is anything but "new". It was the world's largest economy for hundreds of years up to about 1800.

Sadly, Ferguson is not too optimistic about America's "recovery" plans. From 1981 to today we went from being the world's largest creditor to the world's largest debtor. He is very skeptical that borrowing trillions more from China and others is going to make things better.
One of the most comprehensive accounts of financial history
Sick Minute | New Jersey | 06/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This documentary offers a unique window into the complexity of modern global financial markets, and is particularly salient in light of the recent economic crisis. It is really a historian's view on the role of money and finance throughout human history, and places modern political economy in crucial context. Ferguson argues implicitly that the indispensable role of financial history has been somewhat underappreciated even within academia, and that a better understanding of what makes the economy tick is critical to future prosperity. The book version of this work is also great, but the documentary complements the arguments with stunning visuals from around the world. This DVD is a must see for anyone working in the financial industry, any students of economics or history, and anyone wishing to better grasp contemporary finance."