Wall Street Lays Another Egg
by Niall Ferguson
Not so long ago, the dollar stood for a sum of gold, and bankers knew the people they lent to. The author charts the emergence of an abstract, even absurd world—call it Planet Finance—where mathematical models ignored both history and human nature, and value had no meaning.
I’ve only finished about half of this article, but it is quite good history. I’ve never actually read a book by Ferguson, but I know he wrote a decent one about World War I which I will read one of these days. He just wrote it and I’ve already read all the others and keep planning to write my own. He’ll just have to wait.
Books by Niall Ferguson:
– The Pity of War: Explaining World War I (2000)
– The War of the World (2007)
– The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World (Nov 13th, 2008)
(you can obviously see from the titles why I like Ferguson, without ever having read one of his books. I’ll leave it up to you whether he might be getting somewhat opportunistic. I will say this. Pity of War was widely criticized as over-emphasizing global financial issues regarding World War I. I haven’t read it, I wouldn’t know.)