One week before a new President who campaigned on a promise to fix the economy takes office, public media provider WNET.ORG is putting the meaning of money into context – where it came from, where it goes, and why it has always been (and always will be) the fulcrum of civilization. THE ASCENT OF MONEY, a two-hour documentary based on the newly-released book The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World (Penguin Group USA), will premiere on Tuesday, January 13 at 9 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings). The film is written and presented by the bestselling author, economist, historian, and Harvard professor Niall Ferguson. An expanded, four-hour version of THE ASCENT OF MONEY will air on PBS later in 2009.
In THE ASCENT OF MONEY, Ferguson – whose series War of the World garnered critical attention last summer – traces the evolution of money and demonstrates that financial history is the essential back-story behind all history. “Everyone needs to understand the complex history of money and our relationship to it,” he says. “By learning how societies have continually created and survived financial crises, we can find solid solutions to today’s worldwide economic emergency.” As he traverses historic financial hot spots around the world, Ferguson illuminates fundamental economic concepts and speaks with leading experts in the financial world.
Funding for THE ASCENT OF MONEY is provided by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, The Smith Richardson Foundation, James and Merryl Tisch, and PBS. Additional funding for educational materials is provided by the Calvin K. Kazanjian Economics Foundation, Inc.
THE ASCENT OF MONEY is a co-production of Chimerica Media Limited and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG. Series writer and presenter is Niall Ferguson. Series producer is Melanie Fall. Series director is Adrian Pennick. Executive producer is Simon Berthon. For WNET.ORG, William R. Grant is executive producer. Stephen Segaller is executive-in-charge.