Niall Ferguson had the unfortunate luck of writing The Ascent of Money just before the unveiling of the 2008’s Great Panic. At the time he finished writing the book in May 2008, only $318 billion of write-downs had been acknowledged.
I was interested in the book because of its focus on the development of our financial institutions. If we want to understand the present and hope to have some insight to the future, then we need to understand the past.
Ferguson does a great job of shedding light on the origins of finance. If you have an interest in finance, then you need to understand the history of finance. The Ascent of Money is worth the time spent reading it.
Read more of my take on this book over at Compliance Building: The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World