Niall Ferguson

From Powerbase
Jump to: navigation, search

Niall Ferguson is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University and William Ziegler Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford University, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.[1]

Contents

Early Life

Ferguson was born in Glasgow on 18 April 1964. He was educated at Glasgow Academy.[2]

Academic Career

Ferguson graduated from Magdalen College, Oxford with First Class Honours in 1985.[3]

Subsequently, writes Robert S. Boynton, "Ferguson was accepted into the postgraduate program. He chose as his mentor the historian Norman Stone, who was a fellow-Scot, a Glasgow Academy alumnus, a much reviled Thatcherite, and-like one of Stone's heroes, A.J.P. Taylor, a media don."[4]

He spent two years as a Hanseatic Scholar in Hamburg and Berlin.[5] Ferguson's supplemented his income by writing for the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph, while studying in the Warburg archives in Hamburg. This research provided the material for his first book, Paper and Iron, which argued that "the hyperinflation that destroyed Weimar's rich bourgeois culture could have been avoided by a combination of deflationary economic policies and authoritarian political measures".[6]

He took up a Research Fellowship at Christ’s College, Cambridge in 1989. He later moved to a Lectureship at Peterhouse[7], where he was influenced by the conservative historian Maurice Cowling.[8]

He returned to Oxford in 1992 to become Fellow and Tutor in Modern History at Jesus College, a position he held until 2000, when he was appointed Professor of Political and Financial History at Oxford. Two years later he left for the United States to take up the Herzog Chair in Financial History at the Stern Business School, New York University. He moved to Harvard in 2004.[9]

Debate on the financial crisis

In April 2009 Ferguson debated the financial crisis along with economist Paul Krugman and others at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.[10] The event proved to be the starting point for a literary spat. Krugman wrote on his New York Times blog that the event proved that "we’re living in a Dark Age of macroeconomics, in which hard-won knowledge has simply been forgotten."

What’s the evidence? Niall Ferguson “explaining” that fiscal expansion will actually be contractionary, because it will drive up interest rates. At least that’s what I think he said; there were so many flourishes that it’s hard to tell. But in any case, this is really sad: John Hicks knew far more about this in 1937 than people who think they’re sophisticates know now.[11]

Ferguson claimed a month later in the Financial Times that a subsequent rise in bond yields "settled a rather public argument between me and the Princeton economist Paul Krugman."[12]

In July 2010, Ferguson wrote:

The federal debt burden [in the United States] rose only slightly – from 40 to 45 per cent of GDP – prior to the outbreak of the second world war. It was the war that saw the US (and all the other combatants) embark on fiscal expansions of the sort we have seen since 2007.[13]

Krugman retorted:

If you were ignorant of basic facts about the Depression — or if you didn’t know that movements in a ratio can reflect changes in the denominator as well as the numerator — you might think that it’s possible to summarize fiscal policy by looking at the federal debt-GDP ratio...[14]

National Curriculum role

At the 2010 Hay Festival, the new Education Secretary Michael Gove invited Ferguson to "spend more time in Britain to help us design a more exciting and engaging history curriculum?."[15] Gove had praised Ferguson in 2006 article because he "he dared to approach the legacy of the British Empire with a balanced mind, accepting its manifold evils but also ready to acknowledge its progressive side."[16]

Affiliations

Conferences

Publications

Books

  • Paper and Iron: Hamburg Business and German Politics in the Era of Inflation, 1897–1927, Cambridge University Press, 1995.
  • (editor) Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals, Macmillan, 1997.
  • The World’s Banker: The History of the House of Rothschild, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1998.
  • The Pity of War, Allen Lane/Penguin Press, 1998.
  • The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000, Allen Lane/Penguin Press, 2001.
  • Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World, Allen Lane/Penguin Press, 2003.
  • Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire, London, Allen Lane/Penguin Press, 2004.
  • The War of the World: History’s Age of Hatred, London, Allen Lane/Penguin Press, 2006.
  • (with Oliver Wyman), The Evolution of Financial Services, London/New York: Oliver Wyman, 2007.
  • The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World, New York: Penguin Press, 2008.[17]

External Resources

Notes

  1. Overview, Niall Ferguson, Faculty & Research, Harvard Business School, accessed 26 July 2010.
  2. PROFILE: Niall Ferguson, Sunday Times, 14 February 2010.
  3. Overview, Niall Ferguson, Faculty & Research, Harvard Business School, accessed 26 July 2010.
  4. Robert S. Boynton, Thinking the Unthinkable: A profile of Niall Ferguson, New Yorker, 12 April 1999, archived at robertboynton.com.
  5. Overview, Niall Ferguson, Faculty & Research, Harvard Business School, accessed 26 July 2010.
  6. Robert S. Boynton, Thinking the Unthinkable: A profile of Niall Ferguson, New Yorker, 12 April 1999, archived at robetboynton.com.
  7. Overview, Niall Ferguson, Faculty & Research, Harvard Business School, accessed 26 July 2010.
  8. Robert S. Boynton, Thinking the Unthinkable: A profile of Niall Ferguson, New Yorker, 12 April 1999, archived at robetboynton.com.
  9. Overview, Niall Ferguson, Faculty & Research, Harvard Business School, accessed 26 July 2010.
  10. The Economic Crisis and How to Deal with It, PEN, 30 April 2009.
  11. Paul Krugman, Liquidity preference, loanable funds, and Niall Ferguson (wonkish), The Conscience of a Liberal, nytimes.com, 2 May 2009.
  12. Niall Ferguson, History lesson for economists in thrall to Keynes, Financil Times, 29 May 2009.
  13. Quoted in Brad Delong, Can't Anybody Here Play This Game? Fiscal Policy Edition, Grasping Reality with Both Hands, 19 July 2010.
  14. Paul Krugman, Depression Debt, The Conscience of a Liberal, nytimes.com, 20 July 2010.
  15. Charlotte Higgins, Rightwing historian Niall Ferguson given school curriculum role, guardian.co.uk, 30 May 2010.
  16. Michael Gove, There's only one Fergie in the history game, michaelgove.com, 14 June 2006.
  17. Books, niallferguson.com, accessed 24 July 2010.
Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
Toolbox