Money Ascents: from print to television

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | July 15, 2009
The six part series, called The Ascent of Money, will debut on July 30. The weekly show will talk about the evolution of money

In the backdrop of the global downturn, people have become increasingly cautious with their finances. Fox History and Entertainment channel, spotting an opportunity in the need for information on financial matters, has taken upon itself to educate people about the history and the different aspects of money and its management.

The channel is rolling out a six part series, titled The Ascent of Money, which will trace the origin, history and evolution of money. The name of the show is derived from its namesake publication, The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World, by Niall Ferguson, historian and professor at the Harvard University. Interestingly, Ferguson is also the host of the six part series on the small screen.

Talking to afaqs!, Rajesh Sheshadri, vice-president, content and communication, Fox History and Entertainment, says, "The new series is going to be quintessential history. It talks about the evolution of money and gives an in-depth view of the current day financial markets. With the impact of the economic downturn still lingering, it's an opportune time to showcase content that would address the doubts and curiosity of people about money and its management."

The show is scheduled to debut on July 30. It will be aired every Thursday at 10 pm. Each one hour episode will cover different topics, namely Dreams of Avarice, Human Bondage, Blowing Bubbles, Risky Business, Safe as Houses and Chimerica.

Each episode of The Ascent of Money will focus on one single aspect of money. For example, the inaugural episode, Dreams of Avarice, dwells on the origin of credit and debit by touching upon Babylonian clay tables and the Medici banking system. Similarly, the last part of the series, Chimerica, studies the so-called economic marriage between China and the United States to drive home the point that now, markets such as Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe are better investment prospects as compared to, say, the stock markets in the UK.

Sheshadri says, "The Ascent of Money is an attempt to take a simplified view of the money matters. The timing and approach towards the show make it unique. It will help aid individuals' efforts to make sense of the current economic chaos. Dynamic filming of the episodes, combined with interviews with experts and the engaging style of the host make it interesting."

The channel is taking the show to B-schools, where it will hold screenings in association with the faculty. This is being done to allow the students, the corporate leaders of tomorrow, to get a closer look at the different aspects of finance that they discuss in their classrooms.

The show is being promoted heavily on air. The channel has also created a game on, where participants can manage their virtual investment portfolios by making prudent investments in the virtual stock market and other financial instruments. The winner will be crowned Best Money Manager and will get a goody bag from the channel.

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