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If there is one adjective we have heard repeatedly in the last year and a half it is “unprecedented”. It has been applied to describe the amount of monetary and fiscal stimulus that’s been poured into the economy. It has been used in relation to the pandemic lockdowns and reopenings, and the record-breaking runs in stock, bonds, real estate, and commodity markets.
Is there no historical precedent for these events?
Who better to ask than this week’s WEALTHTRACK guest, Niall Ferguson? Ferguson has studied booms, busts, the rise and fall of empires, the power of social networks, and catastrophes of all sorts including plagues and pandemics?
He is one of the world’s leading historians and an influential commentator on contemporary politics and economics. Ferguson is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, along with being the author of numerous articles, and a regular columnist for Bloomberg Opinion.
The titles of some of his 16 books underscore his wide scope as a historian.
Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire; The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West; The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World; The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook.
His most recent book is Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe, which analyzes how societies have reacted to crises from the Roman response to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius to how various governments have handled Covid-19.
According to Ferguson, experience has taught him that understanding history does help make us better investors. In this week’s interview, he explains why.
WEALTHTRACK Episode #1803; Originally Broadcast on July 16, 2021
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- Award-Winning Historian
- Author, Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe
READ DOOM: THE POLITICS OF CATASTROPHE
..insightful, productively provocative and downright brilliant”…which “promises to make a contribution to improving our management of future disasters.The New York Times, May 4, 2021
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Niall Ferguson from WEALTHTRACK the Archives: