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Niall Ferguson has an unrivalled record in academia, economic analysis, broadcasting and historical writing. He's the Laurence A.Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University and a Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford University.

Many of his fourteen books have been bestsellers around the world. His publications have included the acclaimed The Pity of War: Explaining World War One and The World’s Banker: The History of the House of Rothschild (winner of the Wadsworth Prize for Business History).

Many of Ferguson's books have been written to accompany his acclaimed television series. His 2003 six-part history of the British Empire for Channel 4 in the UK spawned the bestseller Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power and its sequel Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire. The acclaim heaped upon these books led to TIME magazine nominating him as being amongst the one hundred most influential people on the planet. Another international bestseller, The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World was made into a PBS series, which won the International Emmy award for Best Documentary.

Equally accomplished as a biographer, in 2010 Ferguson published High Financier: The Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg and his life of Henry Kissinger is due to be published in 2015. His film company Chimerica Media's debut feature length documentary concerned Kissinger and won the New York International Film Festival's prize for Best Documentary.

Much in demand as a speaker and writer on economics and politics, Ferguson's work has frequently appeared in the most prestigious publications in both the USA and the UK. He has been a visiting professor at the London School of Economics and was chosen to deliver the BBC Reith Lecture in 2012. The American Academy in Berlin, the Museum of American Finance and the New York Historical Society all count him as a member of their board of trustees.

Ferguson has received many prizes and awards, amongst them the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service (2010) and in 2012 the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement. He is on the board of directors of the global asset management company Affiliated Managers Group and is a managing director at Greenmantle LLC.

Full Profile

Niall Ferguson, MA, D.Phil., is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford.

He has published fourteen books. His first, Paper and Iron: Hamburg Business and German Politics in the Era of Inflation 1897-1927, was short-listed for the History Today Book of the Year award, while the collection of essays he edited, Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals, was a UK bestseller. In 1998 he published to international critical acclaim The Pity of War: Explaining World War One and The World’s Banker: The History of the House of Rothschild. The latter won the Wadsworth Prize for Business History and was also short-listed for the Jewish Quarterly/Wingate Literary Award and the American National Jewish Book Award. In 2001, after a year as Houblon-Norman Fellow at the Bank of England, he published The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000.

Niall Ferguson is also a regular contributor to television and radio on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2003 he wrote and presented a six-part history of the British Empire for Channel 4, the UK terrestrial broadcaster. The accompanying book, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power, was a bestseller in both Britain and the United States. The sequel, Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire, was published in 2004 by Penguin, and prompted Time magazine to name him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Two years later he published The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West, a television adaptation of which was screened by PBS in 2007. The international bestseller, The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World, followed in 2008; it too was a PBS series, winning the International Emmy award for Best Documentary. In 2011 he published Civilization: The West and the Rest, also a Channel 4/PBS documentary series. This was followed in 2012 by a three-part television series “China: Triumph and Turmoil”.

Ferguson is an accomplished biographer. In addition to the history of the Rothschild family, he recently published High Financier: The Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg (2010) and is currently writing a life of Henry Kissinger. In 2011 his film company Chimerica Media released its first feature-length documentary, “Kissinger”, which won the New York International Film Festival’s prize for Best Documentary. His most recent book is The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die, which will be published in the United States this June.

A prolific commentator on contemporary politics and economics, Niall Ferguson writes regularly for newspapers and magazines on both sides of the Atlantic. He was the Philippe Roman Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics in 2010-11 and the BBC Reith Lecturer for 2012. He is a member of the board of trustees of the American Academy in Berlin, the Museum of American Finance and the New York Historical Society. His many prizes and awards include the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service (2010) and the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2012). He is Managing Director at Greenmantle LLC and serves on the Board of Directors of Affiliated Managers Group, Inc., a global asset management company.

Niall Ferguson is married to the acclaimed author and human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali. He has four children.


Niall Ferguson Speaker Videos Back to top

Keynote Speech


In this arts and lectures keynote at the Sydney Oprah House, Niall Ferguson discusses topics ranging from becoming an historian to the global political climate.

It's the Tax Code, Stupid


Keynote Speech


“If you weren't completely scared witless in early 2009, than you weren't remotely paying attention to the lessons of world economic history." With his characteristic razor-sharp analysis, Niall Ferguson examines the patterns of the most recent global depression and explains how and why it was vastly different than previous economic crisis.


Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Niall Ferguson brings his expertise as an economist and a historian to a series of talks characterized by wit, erudition and unrivalled academic knowledge. He examines the current economic situation in the light of economic history and predicts the trends that will dominate in future.

Never afraid of controversy, Ferguson answers the big and important economic questions, such as “What went wrong with Western finance?” and “Is the United States an Empire?” His questions and conclusions about capitalism and democracy winning the economic game can be disturbing, but need to be heard.

The Ascent and Descent of Money: What Went Wrong with Western Finance?
Topics:

    • Economic Forecast
    • Financial Markets
    • Global Economy

Globalization: Past, Present and Possible Futures
Topics:

    • Global Economy

Is the United States an Empire? Should it be?
Topics:

    • American Politics

Are Capitalism and Democracy Bound to Win?
Topics:

    • American Politics
    • Economic Forecast

Political Risk and the Global Business Environment
Topics:

    • Business Growth/Strategy/Trends
    • Global Economy
    • Risk Management

High Liquidity and Low Volatility in Historical Perspective
Topics:

    • Economic Forecast
    • Financial Markets
    • Global Economy

To Have and Have Not: Commodities in the Long Run
Topics:

    • Economic Forecast
    • Financial Markets
    • Global Economy

Business Empires: How Big Companies Rise and Fall
Topics:

    • Business Growth/Strategy/Trends


Niall Ferguson Speaker Testimonials Back to top

"Niall Ferguson was a great draw to our conference and lived up to all our expectations as a guest speaker. He understood perfectly what we were hoping for and our audience were captivated by his highly intelligent but easy to understand address."
    Veronica Coupland, Special Events Manager, GAM

"Niall Ferguson is the best speaker we've hired for our hedge fund events. Not only is he a brilliant speaker with a vast array of financial and historical anecdotes at his finger tips, he's also a down to earth, approachable guy. He will energize the audience with his engaging analysis of geopolitics, history and finance."
    Steve Drobny, Drobny Capital

"Niall is a historian with a good grasp of economics, and a willingness to challenge head-on, conventional beliefs. He is highly articulate, engages the audience directly, and seems able to speak easily on a wide range of topics. He's one of the most capable and stimulating speakers I've ever seen."
    Max Darnell, CIO, First Quadrant

"Niall Ferguson's keynote speech at our annual conference in Montreux, [in June 2006] on the likelihood of a return to the gold standard, was both entertaining and informative. Delegates gave him the highest rating of all the speakers on their feedback forms."
    Stewart Murray, Chief Executive, London Bullion Market Association




* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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"Niall Ferguson was a great draw to our conference and lived up to all our expectations as a guest speaker. He understood perfectly what we were hoping for and our audience were captivated by his highly intelligent but easy to understand address."
    Veronica Coupland, Special Events Manager, GAM

"Niall Ferguson is the best speaker we've hired for our hedge fund events. Not only is he a brilliant speaker with a vast array of financial and historical anecdotes at his finger tips, he's also a down to earth, approachable guy. He will energize the audience with his engaging analysis of geopolitics, history and finance."
    Steve Drobny, Drobny Capital

"Niall is a historian with a good grasp of economics, and a willingness to challenge head-on, conventional beliefs. He is highly articulate, engages the audience directly, and seems able to speak easily on a wide range of topics. He's one of the most capable and stimulating speakers I've ever seen."
    Max Darnell, CIO, First Quadrant

"Niall Ferguson's keynote speech at our annual conference in Montreux, [in June 2006] on the likelihood of a return to the gold standard, was both entertaining and informative. Delegates gave him the highest rating of all the speakers on their feedback forms."
    Stewart Murray, Chief Executive, London Bullion Market Association


Civilization: The West and the Rest
From one of our most renowned historians, Civilization is the definitive history of Western civilization′s rise to global dominance-and the "killer applications" that made this improbable ascent possible.

The rise to global predominance of Western civilization is the single most important historical phenomenon of the past five hundred years. All over the world, an astonishing proportion of people now work for Western-style companies, study at Western-style universities, vote for Western-style governments, take Western medicines, wear Western clothes, and even work Western hours. Yet six hundred years ago the petty kingdoms of Western Europe seemed unlikely to achieve much more than perpetual internecine warfare. It was Ming China or Ottoman Turkey that had the look of world civilizations. How did the West overtake its Eastern rivals? And has the zenith of Western power now passed?

In Civilization: The West and the Rest, bestselling author Niall Ferguson argues that, beginning in the fifteenth century, the West developed six powerful new concepts that the Rest lacked: competition, science, the rule of law, consumerism, modern medicine, and the work ethic. These were the "killer applications" that allowed the West to leap ahead of the Rest, opening global trade routes, exploiting newly discovered scientific laws, evolving a system of representative government, more than doubling life expectancy, unleashing the Industrial Revolution, and embracing a dynamic work ethic. Civilization shows just how fewer than a dozen Western empires came to control more than half of humanity and four fifths of the world economy.

Yet now, Ferguson argues, the days of Western predominance are numbered-not because of clashes with rival civilizations, but simply because the Rest have now downloaded the six killer apps we once monopolized-while the West has literally lost faith in itself.
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The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World

Bread, cash, dosh, dough, loot: Call it what you like, it matters. To Christians, love of it is the root of all evil. To generals, it’s the sinews of war. To revolutionaries, it’s the chains of labour. But in The Ascent of Money, Niall Ferguson shows that finance is in fact the foundation of human progress. What’s more, he reveals financial history as the essential back-story behind all history.The evolution of credit and debt was as important as any technological innovation in the rise of civilization, from ancient Babylon to the silver mines of Bolivia. Banks provided the material basis for the splendours of the Italian Renaissance, while the bond market was the decisive factor in conflicts from the Seven Years’ War to the American Civil War.

With the clarity and verve for which he is famed, Niall Ferguson explains why the origins of the French Revolution lie in a stock market bubble caused by a convicted Scots murderer. He shows how financial failure turned Argentina from the world’s sixth richest country into an inflation-ridden basket case – and how a financial revolution is propelling the world’s most populous country from poverty to power in a single generation.

Yet the most important lesson of the financial history is that sooner or later every bubble bursts – sooner or later the bearish sellers outnumber the bullish buyers – sooner or later greed flips into fear. And that’s why, whether you’re scraping by or rolling in it, there’s never been a better time to understand the ascent of money.

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Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire

Acclaimed historian Niall Ferguson ranges across the entire history of America’s foreign entanglements and delves into all the dimensions of American power—military, economic, cultural, and political. The result is a book whose conclusions are as convincing, and troubling, as they are original. Ferguson demonstrates that America has always been an empire in denial and shows the fateful consequences of its special brand of imperialism. He examines the challenges to the United States from its principal rivals, the European Union and China, and offers a compelling analysis of the connection between the country’s domestic economic health and its foreign affairs—the bottom line of imperialism, American style. Colossus is a peerless reckoning with American power that should be read by any thinking citizen of this unspoken empire.

Order Here

The Ascent and Descent of Money: What Went Wrong with Western Finance?
Topics:

    • Economic Forecast
    • Financial Markets
    • Global Economy

Globalization: Past, Present and Possible Futures
Topics:

    • Global Economy

Is the United States an Empire? Should it be?
Topics:

    • American Politics

Are Capitalism and Democracy Bound to Win?
Topics:

    • American Politics
    • Economic Forecast

Political Risk and the Global Business Environment
Topics:

    • Business Growth/Strategy/Trends
    • Global Economy
    • Risk Management

High Liquidity and Low Volatility in Historical Perspective
Topics:

    • Economic Forecast
    • Financial Markets
    • Global Economy

To Have and Have Not: Commodities in the Long Run
Topics:

    • Economic Forecast
    • Financial Markets
    • Global Economy

Business Empires: How Big Companies Rise and Fall
Topics:

    • Business Growth/Strategy/Trends


Keynote Speech


In this arts and lectures keynote at the Sydney Oprah House, Niall Ferguson discusses topics ranging from becoming an historian to the global political climate.

It's the Tax Code, Stupid


Keynote Speech


“If you weren't completely scared witless in early 2009, than you weren't remotely paying attention to the lessons of world economic history." With his characteristic razor-sharp analysis, Niall Ferguson examines the patterns of the most recent global depression and explains how and why it was vastly different than previous economic crisis.