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Author Topic: The Ascent of Money  (Read 3564 times)
hangchoi
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« on: 18 July 2013, 11:41:48 »

Can't wait to write something about this book before I finish it.

I start reading this in parallel with the Dan Brown's novel and I am still reading this book in electronic version. After I finished the Currency War, I want to look a bit into the financial history and I finally watch a series of documentary programme in YouTube. This book has produced a 5-episode programme to give a brief account of the financial history. I found it very interesting and wanted to know more details on it. Hence I finally turn to this book.

It is written by a Harvard Professor Niall Ferguson. It gives an account of the history of finance system development. This first chapter is about the origin of money. It goes through step by step from the reason that we have money, various forms of money such as coin, paper, up to credit and electronic. Second chapter deals with the bond market, third stock market, then insurance, property and the derivative.

The book is well written with full of vivid stories, from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice to Tales of Two Cities, from Machiavelli family to John Law, very interesting yet inspiring. It is also peppered with a lot of lively examples, especially in US, such as the impact of Katrina, Argentina in Peron's time, Soros's attack on GBP, LTCM, Enron, etc. Somehow I think that it gives an impartial view on some of the financial policy, which is not like Currency war with lots of conspiracies.

The book is quite easy to read and understand, even to an outsider like me. I even think that this book can be a bed time story for the kids as well. Imagine you ask your kids what money is and then you start to tell them stories about exchange of goods and so on.....

I watched the 5 hour TV programme and finished three chapters of the book, I think I will finish it in my trip to UK and write something more on it later.

I do recommend those people interested in financial history to read this book. If you are sick with text or feel boring on paper, you may watch the YouTube by the following link:

Chapter 1 - Dreams of avarice - the forms of money and the origins of credit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Y2VircJxf4

Chapter 2 - Human bondage - the history of bond market: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwc5ntKiIis

Chapter 3 - Blowing Bubbles - the origins of joint stock company and stocks market: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Etzs6BhpBU4

Chapter 4 - Risky business - the history of insurance and its problem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrksf9uzQDM

Chapter 5 - Safe as houses - property market and mortgages: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxDdAizmp-E

Chapter 6 - Chimerica - Globalization: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyclxFlrWsk

Enjoy!!
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「吾心信其可行,則移山倒海之難,終有成功之日。吾心信其不可行,則反掌折枝之易,亦無收效之期也。」
chin
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« Reply #1 on: 18 July 2013, 16:21:54 »

I read this book when if came out few years ago.

I even have the dvd set of the same title from BBC.  Smiley
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kido
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« Reply #2 on: 04 August 2013, 22:44:13 »

Chapter 1 - Dreams of avarice - the forms of money and the origins of credit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Y2VircJxf4

Chapter 2 - Human bondage - the history of bond market: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwc5ntKiIis

Chapter 3 - Blowing Bubbles - the origins of joint stock company and stocks market: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Etzs6BhpBU4

Chapter 4 - Risky business - the history of insurance and its problem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrksf9uzQDM

Chapter 5 - Safe as houses - property market and mortgages: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxDdAizmp-E

Chapter 6 - Chimerica - Globalization: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyclxFlrWsk

Enjoy!!

It's a good documentary series, feeling that 6 episodes were not enough.  
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Hey, diddle, diddle ! The cat and the fiddle.
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