Money, Money, Money

For all of us who are alive today, money, whether it be paper or electronic, is essential to navigating the world we live in. If you want something, you buy it with money, you get a job to make money, everything revolves around money. But when and why did money become a useful medium of exchange. Before money existed people had to trade through barter, AKA “I will give you two fish for one loaf of bread”. The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson gives us a thorough history of how mankind moved from the bartering system to the advanced financial world we live in today. Once we advanced from the bartering system and moved on to money as a medium of exchange the world would never be the same. Because of money, we now have investing, saving, lending, borrowing, and countless other measures that have improved the lives of billions throughout history. One of the more interesting topics Ferguson discusses is his focus on bubbles, how they are caused, and what implications they have on an economic system.  In relation to bubbles he also explains what causes financial crises, like the one we saw in 2007-2008. Overall, Ferguson does an excellent job of giving us a run down on the history of money. While at times his writing can be a bit dull and slow, the information he presents is very valuable and I would happily recommend this  book to anyone who is interested in learning more about money.

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