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The Ascent of Money

The Ascent of Money is a six-part documentary series presented by Niall Ferguson, examining the long history of money, credit, and banking. The series is based on the book The Ascent of Money: The Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson. Bread, cash, dosh, dough, loot, lucre: Call it what you like, it matters. Money can break us? Or it can make us? Throughout the series, 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.

Episode 1 - Dreams of Avarice
Niall Ferguson explains the origins of credit and debt and why credit networks are indispensable to any civilization.

Episode 2 - Human Bondage
This episode examines the history of the bond market from the rise of the bond market in Renaissance Italy to today.

Episode 3 - Blowing Bubbles
This episode looks at the origins of the joint stock company in Amsterdam and Paris, and shows why stock markets produce bubbles and busts.

Episode 4 - Risky Business
Niall Ferguson looks at the origins of modern insurance in the early 19th century and to the birth of the welfare state in post-war Japan.

Episode 5 - Safe as Houses
Niall Ferguson explains how someone's bright idea to bundle together a bunch of sub-prime mortgages and sell them on, virtually brought down the world's financial markets.

Episode 6 - Chimerica
Niall Ferguson investigates the globalisation of the Western economy and the uncertain balance between the important component countries of China and the US.


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