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The Ascent of Money Audiobook

The Ascent of Money

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Publisher's Summary

Bread, cash, dosh, dough, loot: Call it what you like, it matters. To Christians, love of it is the root of all evil. To generals, it's the sinews of war. To revolutionaries, it's the chains of labour. But in The Ascent of Money, Niall Ferguson shows that finance is in fact the foundation of human progress. What's more, he reveals financial history as the essential back-story behind all history.

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©2008 Niall Ferguson; (P)2009 WF Howes Ltd

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4.3 (210 )
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  •  
    Tim High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom 05/03/2011
    Tim High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom 05/03/2011
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    "Excellent Car Journey Material"

    As I work in a bank for my day job, I was dreading listening to this in the journey to & from work as I thought it would feel like an extension of my job, or like extra curricular revision of a dry, boring subject.

    Fortunately it turned out to be a fascinatingly insightful tale of all things financial, with a compelling (if slightly posh narrator) & a rich collection of stories & anecdotes to illustrate each of its chapters.

    Covering all aspects of finance, from notes & coin through to bonds & insurance, I found it captivating & educational in equal measure. Of the stories, the most interesting ones were about the founding of the bond market in the ever-feuding principalities of Renaissance Italy and also the ones concerning the foundation of companies (including an explanation of how they began in 17th 18th Century Holland, through to the collapse of Enron).

    Although it may seem subjects such as coinage & insurance would be dreadfully dull, somehow they made exciting by stories from history & modern times.

    And, as someone who works in the finance industry, I would thoroughly recommend this to expert & financial illiterate alike, as it covers the topic of money in a thorough, but simple way.

    If the evidence of our burgeoning budget deficit is anything to go by, then people in the country could do with listening to this on the way to work...

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy Corstjens 10/04/2015
    Judy Corstjens 10/04/2015 Member Since 2016
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    "Structure and origins of the financial world"

    Niall Ferguson claims to want to make finance accessible and comprehensible to the masses. That would include the 50% of the population who don't have a maths GCSE or O'Level, and have now been put in total control of their own pensions. In this ambition I'm sure he must fail, as the book is deep and wide-ranging, and probably does require a maths O'level to follow it comfortably. However, if you have the interest and motivation to follow 500 years and 350 pages of financial evolution, the book is a revelation, and a pleasure.

    The book is organised around the main structures of the financial industry, why they came about and how they evolved: Banking and Money; the Bond Market; Joint Stock Companies and Stock Market; Insurance; the Property Market/mortgages and asset backed securities. Finally he moves on to the current period and the relationship between China and America. This last section was weaker and more muddled.

    To me the key revelation was how 'Capital', meaning things like bonds or shares in a company, really create another 'world' parallel to the 'property' we are all so obsessed with in the UK. When an aristocratic Land Owner, looked down his nose at a parvenu 'Rentier' he was expressing his dislike for a new order based on 'Das Kapital'. At some level I knew that the means of production were Land, Capital and Labour, but I didn't really understand this. You should read the book to see what I mean.

    The fact that the book was written in 2008 does not make it obsolete (as you might fear). It is more of a history than current affairs, and by the time the book was written the writing was already on the wall for the current financial crisis.

    Narration. I felt it was too 'Jackanory', as if reading a children's book. I would have liked it read in a rich Adam Smith burr, but that is just me. Seriously, non-fiction readers should not try to do accents. Hugh Ross doing George Soros (pigeon-hungarian-jew) was painful to the ear.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M Wakefield, United Kingdom 06/06/2014
    M Wakefield, United Kingdom 06/06/2014 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Money, money, money. It's so funny ..."

    I'm still none the wiser as to how the financial world's complex creations actually work, or how the Masters of The Universe get away with what seems to me to be nothing but gambling, but this book did challenge my general view that the econosphere is basically evil and bad for society in general. The rise of civilisation - seen through the prism of the financial markets - is certainly dependent on the movement of huge amounts of cash, and there's no doubting that our general prosperity and way of life is, to a large degree, due to the evolution of the markets, but what is certain is that the folks at the top of the money pile need a whole lot of regulation and accountability so as to reign in their all-too-human tendencies to get carried away with their schemes. A very interesting and thought-provoking book, well narrated.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Niall Longniddry, East Lothian, United Kingdom 16/03/2010
    Niall Longniddry, East Lothian, United Kingdom 16/03/2010 Member Since 2013
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    "Eye Opening"

    I have really enjoyed this book and find myself re-listening occasionally. If you have an interest in finance and financial matters this is an eye opening listen.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark 04/09/2017
    Mark 04/09/2017 Member Since 2015
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    "Sorry just HATED the voice"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    With an audio book it's down to the delivery of the reading. Somehow the narrator just makes me want to switch off - if he's bored and it sounds like he is, then sadly so am I.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Niall Ferguson again?

    Yes but not with this narrator


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JONAH8208 23/12/2012
    JONAH8208 23/12/2012
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    "Interesting but not for fun"

    This book I found really interesting but unless you are into Finance and have a good understanding of basic economics then this will probably not be your thing. It is however an excellent grounding in the history, use and eventual total reliance of all mankind on an abstract concept which we all collectively choose to believe is worth exchanging our goods and services for.



    J

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    julien county wicklow, Ireland 18/11/2017
    julien county wicklow, Ireland 18/11/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "sleep tight good citizen"

    a very basic and classic look at money and finance. The rise of money is good and is the leading factor in the rise of humanity, the Magical Markets are the most efficient way to allocate resources, even if they do fluctuate between greed and fear, gold is a relic of the past, economists and central bankers are well intentioned and qualified people who know exactly what needs to be done etc, etc... sleep tight and worry not good citizen...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tracy s irons 18/10/2017
    tracy s irons 18/10/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "thought provoking "

    lengthy but worth sticking with it, starts you thinking about how much of an illusion money really is

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Griffiths 19/02/2017
    M. Griffiths 19/02/2017
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    "Hard to fault"

    My enjoyment rose as I progressed rapidly through this book and was sad when it ended. It provided for me, in my profound ignorance of economics, an engaging primer that was perfectly judged in terms of depth and brevity.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrice Massieh 08/07/2015
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    "Superb"

    A very informative and fascinating insight on how the money make the world go round.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Manpreet
    Bangalore, India
    20/12/09
    Overall
    "Clears so many part of the financial puzzle"

    The book unravels in a fascinating & simple manner the intircacies of today's financial world. Its specially helpful for the non financial guys but will help people with financial knowledge to appreicate the history of financial products. A very good listen/read overall.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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