Original PBS Link:
The Ascent of Money Episode 1: From Bullion to Bubbles | The Ascent of Money | PBS
The Ascent of money was supposed to be a historical background on money and capitalism by British Historian, and Rothschild specialist- Niall Ferguson. The first two episodes did just that. First two episodes was informative. Like the Godfather series, it should have stopped there. Time and time again, Mr. Ferguson fails to stick to what he does best- history. His delving into contemporary economics and political economics was a disaster.
How he blatantly refuses to connect the dots between no regulation of the era of Reagan, Thatcher and Friedman (now dead, we hope) and the explosion of the market in boom-bursts, and the seeming insecurity of privatized pensions (undermining the very notion of a pension) smacks of willful ignorance. And how can his frontal attack on the welfare state willfully leave out the most successful ones of all? That is, the Nordic countries. I guess their seeming ability to be welfarist, yet not experience stagflation or be dormant does not fit into his half thesis.
Pray tell, is Japanese welfare state a disaster simply because it got stymied at number two economy behind the USA with just 120 million people, no resources and just the ingenuity of the Japanese people aptly helped by the security of mind in place to out innovate and out manufacture the US of A? When is growth enough? Won't every country or society at some point reach its elastic limit, where it can no more grow (due to various constraints including but not limited to demographics, resources etc.)?
I hope the sponsors (all from Wall Street- yeah, Templeton your would be privatized social security manager under GWB plan) dollars were worth it...at least for the last two episodes. The first two were masterpiece befitting of a historian. Niall is better when his focus is the Rothschilds
On a lighter note...