Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

"The Ascent of Money"

I finished Niall Ferguson's book, subtitled "A Financial History of the World". The book is entertaining, but too brief for my tastes, although it does serve as a good survey. The first four chapters introduce banking, bonds, stocks, and insurance. The last two conclude with a look at real estate and the mortgage market, and the modern crisis. The afterword has an interesting idea or two about an evolutionary view of finance.

The choice of anecdotes is sometimes a little strange, and for all of Ferguson's enthusiasm about financial innovations, he does a much better job illustrating the disasters than the successes. I prefer the greater depth and focus of Peter Bernstein's books. But, there was a lot of interesting material and I appreciated getting some perspective on modern innovations that is sometimes lacking from histories. I might look into his book on the Rothschilds.
Tags: books
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