Ascent of Money
Category All Business
Episodes View all episodes
Duration 6 x 50 mins
Product Code 22102
Broadcast Year 2008
Price £1,170.00

For some it's the root of all evil. Others wished it grew on trees. Love it or loathe it, whatever your opinion of it is, money is as inescapable as death and taxes. But what exactly is money? Where did it come from? And where did it all go?

In this fresh, revelatory series, Ascent of Money, historian and Harvard professor Niall Ferguson reveals everything you need know about money.

  • Why did money stop being metal and morph into paper?
  • Why do people never learn that stock market bubbles always end in busts?

Understand these things and you start to see world history in a new light. Discover that it was Rothschild as much as Wellington who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo and why it's the adoption of Arab mathematics that allowed that lovely Renaissance art and architecture to flourish. And you'll discover why the welfare state was born in Stockholm but died in Santiago.

Ascent of Money is also a magical history tour, transporting you from the Jewish ghetto in Venice to the Shanghai stock market. 'Follow the money' is always a pretty good rule. Niall Ferguson follows it from its unlikely source in the Arab street to the great delta of credit that flows, as the sun rises and the world revolves, from Tokyo to London to New York. Combining dynamic film-making, interviews with financial big hitters and Niall Ferguson's engaging and accessible style, Ascent of Money will fundamentally transform your idea of what really makes the world go round.

An educational documentary from the BBC looking at the history and politics of money


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