Don’t know how many of you are familiar with Niall Ferguson – author of “The Ascent of Money” and “Civilization”. Anyway, his ideas are interesting and his books are quite readable. His latest book is called “Civilization” and it has been converted into a TV presentation.
In any case, the following YouTube Video is interesting. Part of the theme in his book is actually “the rise and fall of civilizations”. Some of the interesting points he makes are:
- Language: mathematics is the universal language and Americans are no good at math. My own thought on this: probably true, but Americans are also disadvantaged by the fact that most of them speak only language. So far they have been saved by the fact that English is the number one “second language” in the world.
- Politics: democracy is not the most important issue. The more important issue is what he calls “law”. What he means by “law” is the ability to keep politicians under control
- Money: Debt: U.S. in an unsustainable financial position – too much debt and heavily reliant on China – but China does not need U.S. as much – China has shown that it can grow even if U.S. is in trouble – China does not have to keep buying U.S. debt, but if they don’t buy U.S. debt, it will cause an appreciation of Chinese currency. An appreciation of Chinese currency which would be an economic problem for China.
The overall theme is that we are seeing a change in the world order.