The Ascent of Money

Tue, 01/13/2009 - 9:00pm

Niall Ferguson, producer and host.

A new two-hour special, The Ascent of Money, airing Tuesday, January 13 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV 21 (cable 11) and WXXI-HD (cable 1011 and DT 21.1), puts the current global financial crisis in the full context of financial history. Premiering just a week before the inauguration of a president who campaigned on a promise to tackle this crisis, The Ascent of Money provides background on global finance’s big picture.

The film is written and presented by the bestselling author, economist, historian, and Harvard professor Niall Ferguson, author of the book The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World, on which the program is based. During the program Ferguson speaks with leading experts, including financier George Soros, Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volker and more.

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.  
“Everyone needs to understand the complex history of money and our relationship to it,” he says. “By learning how societies have continually created and survived financial crises, we can find solid solutions to today’s worldwide economic emergency.”

As he traverses historic financial hot spots around the world, Ferguson illuminates fundamental economic concepts and speaks with leading experts in the financial world.




This program explaining the historical context of our current financial situation is really amazing. It is incredibly thorough, socially realistic, and lacking in the "don't worry, darling, you don't need to think so hard about why things are the way they are" attitude that has been embraced by mainline press so frequently of late, largely thanks to the pressure of the current (and, thank God, nearly finished) administration. Just think, if we actually learned how things have gotten to be the way they are, we might actually hold our leaders accountable for their choices and their agenda, secret though they believe it to be. I consider myself to be a fairly well-informed and intelligently suspicious, but even I am learning so much from this. In fact, I would like to get a copy of it to watch it again and share it with friends. Can anyone tell me how? Thanks and congratulations on an exceptional piece of work and your honesty in airing it.