The Meaning of Money!

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Book cover eteteThe Ascent of Money (2008)

Alle er vist enige om at dette er tider hvor økonomisk stabilitet skal gendannes. Og det kan være en lukket (støvet?) verden at sætte sig ind i. Men her er et rigtig godt tip til hvordan du, en gang for alle, får en super indføring i en Verden lavet af penge.

Harvard professor Niall Ferguson´s skrev i 2008 bogen The Ascent of Money, og oveni en TV serie i 6 afsnit for Channel 4 – begge en desikering af historien helt tilbage til dengang hvor penge, kredit og banker ikke fandtes. Bogen udkom netop før den, såkaldte, økonomiske krise satte ind – vil du købe bogen, så sørg for at købe 2009 paperback versionen,  hvor han har tilføjet nye overvejelser til en Verden nu vendt på hovedet (koster ca. 100 kr – se

Se TV serie online (6 x 45 min)
Det er Amerikanske PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) der har evnet at gøre hele TV serien gratis tilgængelig. Alle afsnit (6 x 45 min) kan findes nederst i dette indlæg. Og det er faktisk Niall Ferguson selv der præsenterer historien!

– Skulle en af episoderne mangle så kan de også ses her på websitet 220. Eller hvis du vil have dem i “normal” opløsning så kan de findes ved at søge på Btjunkie eller Mininova. (installer Vuze for at kunne dowloade torrents)

Darwins Evolutionsteori
På samme vis som arkitektfirmaet BIG, Bjarke Ingels har fundet en god forklaringsmodel i Darwins evolutionsteori, er det også The Ascent of Money´s holdning at der er en mekanisme bag den økonomiske evolution, nemlig naturlig udvælgelse – bedst forklaret i dette uddrag fra en kort anmeldelse i The Economist:


quote11 Mr Ferguson thinks that finance evolves through natural selection. Although the professor cautions against the sort of Darwinism that sees evolution as progress, he believes that new sorts of finance are constantly coming into being as the environment changes.The sequence of creation, selection and destruction is what has generated many of the financial techniques that modern economies depend on.

This leads Mr Ferguson to make two timely points. One is to remember that evolution depends on extinction as well as creation. You have to allow ill-adapted techniques to fail if you are going to get something new. As the world rushes around rescuing every bank in sight, it is a reminder that the guarantor-state will later have to administer painful medicine.

The other is to observe the wonder of what financial evolution has created. Just now it is only natural to think of the “roller-coaster ride of ups and downs, bubbles and busts, manias and panics, shocks and crashes.” But Mr Ferguson sees something else too: “From ancient Mesopotamia to present-day China…the ascent of money has been one of the driving forces behind human progress: a complex process of innovation, intermediation and integration that has been as vital as the advance of science or the spread of law in mankind’s escape from the drudgery of subsistence agriculture and the misery of the Malthusian trap.”



Episode 1: Dreams of avarice (direkte link for fullscreen)
From Shylock’s pound of flesh to the loan sharks of Glasgow, from the “promises to pay” on Babylonian clay tablets to Medici banking system. Professor Ferguson explains the origins of credit and debt and why credit networks are indispensable to any civilisation.



Episode 2: Human bondage (direkte link)
How did finance become the realm of the masters of the universe? Through the rise of the bond market in Renaissance Italy. With the advent of bonds, war finance was transformed and spread to north-west Europe and across the Atlantic. It was the bond market that made the Rothschilds the richest and most powerful family of the 19th century. And today governments are asking it to bail them out.


Episode 3: Blowing bubbles (direkte link)
Why do stock markets produce bubbles and busts? Professor Ferguson goes back to the origins of the joint stock company in Amsterdam and Paris. He draws telling parallels between the current stock market crash and the 18th century Mississippi Bubble of Scottish financier John Law and the 2001 Enron bankruptcy. He shows why humans have a herd instinct when it comes to investment, and why no one can accurately predict when the bulls might stampede.


Episode 4: Risky business (direkte link)
Life is a risky business – which is why people take out insurance. But faced with an unexpected disaster, the state has to step in. Professor Ferguson travels to post-Katrina New Orleans to ask why the free market can’t provide adequate protection against catastrophe. His quest for an answer takes him to 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 (direkte link)
It sounded so simple: give state-owned assets to the people. After all, what better foundation for a property-owning democracy than a campaign of privatisation encompassing housing? An economic theory says that markets can’t function without mortgages, because it’s only by borrowing against their assets that entrepreneurs can get their businesses off the ground. But what if mortgages are bundled together and sold off to the highest bidder?


Episode 6: Chimerica (direkte link)
Niall Ferguson investigates the globalisation of the Western economy and the uncertain balance between the important component countries of China and the US. In examining the last time globalisation took hold – before World War One, he finds a notable reversal, namely that today money is pouring into the English-speaking economies from the developing world, rather than out.

Kilde: Jesper Reiter 

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