The New World of Finance

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The Ascent of Money

Financial historian Niall Ferguson knows humanity’s long trail of boom and bust cycles. But he is hardly buried in the past.

In the long run-up to today’s crisis, Ferguson was warning loud and clear that we were headed for trouble. He called it early, and he called it right.

Now, Ferguson is sizing up the mess we’re in. Bottom line guess, he says: we’re headed for ten percent unemployment and five-plus years of hard times.

On the other side, the world could look quite different. But the U.S., he says, still has some good cards to play. Saving graces.

This hour, On Point: Niall Ferguson, and the big view of the mess we’re in.

You can join the conversation. Big picture, what do you see going on in this economic crisis? Big hiccup? End of an era? Passing of the crown of superpower?Guest:

Joining us in our studio is Niall Ferguson, professor of history at Harvard University, professor at Harvard Business School, senior research fellow at Oxford University, and senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. A contributing editor of The Financial Times, his books include, “Empire,” “Colossus” and “The War of the World.” His latest is “The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World.” His article titled, "Wall Street Lays Another Egg," appears in the current issue of Vanity Fair.

This program aired on November 18, 2008.


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