Monday, January 5, 2009

The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson

The full title of this book is The Ascent of Money, a Financial History of the World. If you want to understand the world of financial, this is an excellent book to read. This is a great basic book on finance that is clear and easy to follow. I also enjoy reading books by Niall Ferguson as he always has something interesting to say.

I will point you to some typical book reviews later, but first I want to mention a few things in this book. One of thing he talks about is that while inflation is monetary phenomenon, hyperinflation is always a political phenomenon. Another point he makes is that stock markets are mirrors of the human psyche. He points out the idea of stocks for the long term has only worked in the western world, and this is not true of other places. For instance, stock for the long term would have been a losing proposition in say, South America.

I know that the left hates this man. This is probably because he makes such clear, reasonable augments supporting what he says. This is unlike writers like Christopher Higgins and Richard Dawkins, which the left loves. The reason I do not like readings these lefties is that their basic point seems always to revolve around ‘If you do not think like I do, you are stupid’. I read this beautifully illustrated book on evolution by Dawkins. What I remember about this book was his deep implacable hatred for Bush and the religious right. I thought I would be reading a beautifully illustrated book on evolution, obviously not.

Niall Ferguson has his own web site at and there is an entry for him at Wikipedia at As always, you should read anything in Wikipedia with a critical eye. This site will not allow anything to stand that is not politically correct. This article either has a bland description of his work or is critical. Niall Ferguson is not politically correct. Robert Fulford has written a number of articles about Niall Ferguson and they are available at There are also videos with him at google and youtube.

This book review and other books I have reviewed are on my website at Also on my website is how to find this book on Amazon if you care to purchase it.

This blog is meant for educational purposes only, and is not to provide investment advice. Before making any investment decision, you should always do your own research or consult an investment professional. See my website at for a list of the stocks for which I have put up spreadsheets on my web site.

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