The Ascent of Money, published by historian and Harvard professor Niall Ferguson in 2008, is a non-fictional account of the world’s financial history. Since the Spanish conquest in America to the current interdependence between the American and Chinese markets, the author argues that money has been an ambitious drive behind human progress. He guides the reader through different stages of the continuous development of the financial system, like the bond and the stock market, and highlights two influential forces behind it. Ferguson claims that the constant changes in the economy embody an evolutionary process that has been subject to the uncertainty of the future and human behavior throughout history.
The financial system compares to Darwin’s theory of evolution because of the process of Creative Destruction. Ferguson explains that the creation of new companies or new methods of production represents an innovation that takes place from within; the new construction destroys and replaces the old one. One…show more content… Ferguson makes a rhetorical question in the introduction: “But what exactly is money?” and later gives an initial statement about its non-physical character. Ferguson’s insight about money being a matter of belief intrigued me to keep reading to find out more about this idea. The title also gave me different expectations about the main argument of the book because I assumed that it was going to relate to the concept of money itself and not the entire financial system. The argument itself is strong and does connect to the content of the book, but I feel like it does not relate to the initial perception that the reader gets at the beginning. I would have liked for the author to add more ideas about money as an independent concept, in addition to his account on financial history. It would have given me greater insights for my second project on what money