The Ascent of Money
The Financial History of the World

PBS
PBS
The Ascent of Money - The Financial History of the World
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4 videos in this collection

From Bullion to Bubbles
How did money evolve from a crude system of coins that were worth only the value of the metals they were made of to a complex global financial system of…
Bonds of War
Money and war have long had a close relationship. In early 19th-century London, the powerful Rothschild family helped the British government finance its war against Napoleon and, despite a nearly…
Risky Business
The ability to calculate risk has led to the creation of enormous wealth, or when calculated incorrectly, catastrophic economic fallout. In New Orleans, Ferguson witnesses the destruction still on display…
Planet Finance
By the beginning of the 21st century, the systems of credit, insurance, bond trading and stock markets had transcended all national boundaries to create a truly global economic system, opening…

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Planet Finance
Part of the Series: The Ascent of Money
By the beginning of the 21st century, the systems of credit, insurance, bond trading and stock markets had transcended all national boundaries to create a truly global economic system, opening the door to unprecedented growth, but also worldwide instability in the event of one nation's downturn. In an effort to…
From Bullion to Bubbles
Part of the Series: The Ascent of Money
How did money evolve from a crude system of coins that were worth only the value of the metals they were made of to a complex global financial system of credit, treasury bonds, hedge funds and credit default swaps that have shaped the course of human history? Niall Ferguson begins…
Bonds of War
Part of the Series: The Ascent of Money
Money and war have long had a close relationship. In early 19th-century London, the powerful Rothschild family helped the British government finance its war against Napoleon and, despite a nearly catastrophic miscalculation of the war's duration that could have led to financial ruin, found an opportunity to create enormous wealth…
Risky Business
Part of the Series: The Ascent of Money
The ability to calculate risk has led to the creation of enormous wealth, or when calculated incorrectly, catastrophic economic fallout. In New Orleans, Ferguson witnesses the destruction still on display from Hurricane Katrina because insurance companies were unable to cover claims to rebuild homes; the region has been deemed uninsurable…
Four Horsemen - A Look at the World Economy
The modern day Four Horsemen continue to ride roughshod over the people who can least afford it. Crises are converging when governments, religion and mainstream economists have stalled. Twenty-three international thinkers come together and break their silence about how the world really works and why there is still hope in…
The Man Who Discovered Capitalism - The Life and Ideas of Influential Economist Joseph Schumpeter
Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950) coined the term "creative destruction" and generations of economists have adopted it as a shorthand description of the free market's messy way of delivering progress. Schumpeter believed capitalism would be destroyed by its successes and would spawn an intellectual class that made its living by attacking the…
Banking on Bitcoin - How a Cyber-Currency is Disrupting the Economy
Bitcoin is the most disruptive invention since the internet, and now an ideological battle is underway between fringe utopists and mainstream capitalism. Bitcoin's early pioneers sought to blur the lines of sovereignty and the financial status quo. After years of underground development Bitcoin grabbed the attention of a curious public,…
Where is the World Going, Mr. Stiglitz? - An Explanation of the World's Economy
Simply and eloquently, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz explains how the world's economy works. Drawing not only from his academic expertise but also from time spent on the ground in countries around the world, Stiglitz offers fresh thinking about the questions and challenges facing all of us - from well-off…
Addicted to Money
Everything you need to know about what caused the financial meltdown, what lies ahead, and what we all need to do to survive in the new economy. In his typically pugnacious style, Irish economist and commentator David McWilliams surveys the wreckage of the global economy and points to the worrying,…
Where is the World Going, Mr. Stiglitz?: Part 1
Simply and eloquently, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz explains how the world's economy works. Drawing not only from his academic expertise but also from time spent on the ground in countries around the world, Stiglitz offers fresh thinking about the questions and challenges facing all of us - from well-off…
Where is the World Going, Mr. Stiglitz?: Part 2
Simply and eloquently, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz explains how the world's economy works. Drawing not only from his academic expertise but also from time spent on the ground in countries around the world, Stiglitz offers fresh thinking about the questions and challenges facing all of us - from well-off…
Where is the World Going, Mr. Stiglitz?: Part 3
Simply and eloquently, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz explains how the world's economy works. Drawing not only from his academic expertise but also from time spent on the ground in countries around the world, Stiglitz offers fresh thinking about the questions and challenges facing all of us - from well-off…