Fiscal Crises and Imperial Collapses: Historical Perspective on Current Predicaments


May 13, 2010, 12:00 AM EDT
Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, DC
Niall Ferguson (Harvard University)

Event Summary

Niall Ferguson, Harvard University, delivered the Peterson Institute's ninth annual Niarchos Lecture on May 13, 2010, on the topic "Fiscal Crises and Imperial Collapses: Historical Perspectives on Current Predicaments."

Niall Ferguson is one of the world's leading thinkers and writers on geoeconomic, global systemic, and other key international strategic issues. Time has named him one of the world's 100 most influential people, and two of his books, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power (2003) and The War of the World: Twentieth Century Conflict and the Descent of the West (2008) have been converted into television series. His most recent book is the best-selling Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World (2008), from which he has drawn numerous lessons for analyzing and responding to the current global crisis. His earlier The World's Banker: The History of the House of Rothschild won the Wadsworth Prize for Business History.

Dr. Ferguson taught at Oxford and the Stern Business School at New York University before moving to Harvard in 2004. He is a prolific commentator on contemporary economies and politics in both the British and American press, a regular contributor to television and radio on both sides of the Atlantic, a contributing editor to the Financial Times and a columnist in Newsweek. He is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University and William Ziegler Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School.

Event Materials

Presentation [pdf 1.8 MB]

Niarchos Lecture brochure and program [pdf 1 MB]

About the Niarchos Lecture Series

The Niarchos Lecture is the Institute's premier annual event. Previous speakers in the series, which began in 2001, have been Alan Greenspan, Ernesto Zedillo, Lawrence Summers, Long Yongtu, Mario Monti, Heizo Takenaka, Petr Aven, and Nandan Nilekani. These events are made possible by a generous grant from the Stavros S. Niarchos Foundation, whose support enables the Institute to present a major program each year on a topic of central concern to the US and international policy communities.



About This Series

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Lecture was presented at the Institute between 2001 and 2019 by such noted economists turned global policymakers as Agustín Carstens, Alan Greenspan, Mervyn King, Mario Monti, Lawrence Summers, Jean-Claude Trichet, Long Yongtu, and Ernesto Zedillo. This annual event was made possible by the generous support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.