At Harvard, Niall Ferguson reflects on financial crisis

Thursday, November 1, 2018 - 14:00 in Mathematics & Economics

The last global financial crisis was just beginning when Niall Ferguson published his seminal book “The Ascent of Money” in 2008. He came to the Harvard Kennedy School on Wednesday to warn that history could repeat itself. In an interview conducted by Graham Allison, the Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at the School, Ferguson recalled that just as he was making final revisions to the book, it became clear to him that the Lehman Brothers investment bank was about to fold and the crisis was soon to begin. “I had to rewrite the introduction and the conclusion, changing the future tense to the present,” said Ferguson, formerly the Laurence Tisch Professor of History at Harvard and now a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. The book broke the global financial system down into six main components: money, bonds, equity, insurance, housing, and globalization. “I presented the book as six stories, six reasons...

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