Money is a term that has been around for hundreds of years. In The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World, author Niall Ferguson discusses the story behind the evolution of our financial system. Throughout this work, Ferguson depicts a world where money is the root cause of our entire history, as a potter in the clay that is our being. As well as his complete understanding of monetary advancements, Ferguson goes into detail about how power has become a driving force in our history as well. From early Egypt to the present day stock market, it is quite evident that money is a steering wheel that drives our economy and our world. In The Ascent of Money, the process of becoming the driving force is laid out in exquisite detail for all consumers and those interested in economics.
“Between 1929 and 1933, the public succeeded in increasing its cash holdings by 31 pre cent; commercial bank reserves were scarcely altered (indeed, surviving banks built up excess reserves); but commercial bank deposits decreased by 37 per cent and loans by 47 per cent. The absolute numbers reveal the lethal dynamic of the great contraction. An increase of cash in public hands of $1.2 billion was achieved at the cost of a decline in bank deposits of $15.6 billion and a decline in the bank loans of $19.6 billion, equivalent to 19 per cent of 1929 GDP.91.”
This quote is a direct look into the pages of this book. This book was written with the economist in mind as well as the average consumer who is curious to learn the history of money.