Professor Niall Ferguson

Harvard Professor and leading historian on the global economy and geopolitics

Professor Niall Ferguson | NMP Live
About

One of the world’s most accomplished historians and provocative commentators on global politics and economics, Niall Ferguson stands at the crossroads of past, present, and future.

Professor of History at Harvard University and 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.

Born in Glasgow, Niall Ferguson graduated with First Class Honours in 1985. After two years as a Hanseatic Scholar in Hamburg and Berlin, he took up a Research Fellowship at Christ's College, Cambridge, in 1989, subsequently moving to a Lectureship at Peterhouse.

He returned to Oxford in 1992 to become Fellow and Tutor in Modern History at Jesus College, a post 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, before moving to Harvard in 2004.

His first book, '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 best-seller.

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. In 2001 he published 'The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000', following a year as Houblon-Norman Fellow at the Bank of England.

Niall Ferguson is 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 accompanying book, 'Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order' and the 'Lessons for Global Power', was a best-seller in both Britain and the United States.

Two years later he published 'The War of the World: Twentieth Century Conflict and the Descent of the West'. His most recent book is the best-selling 'Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World'.

A prolific commentator on contemporary politics and economics, Niall Ferguson writes and reviews regularly for the British and American press. He is a contributing editor for the Financial Times and a regular contributor to Newsweek. In 2004 Time magazine named him as one of the world's hundred most influential people.

In addition to writing a weekly column for The Sunday Times and the Boston Globe, he is the founder and managing director of Greenmantle LLC, a Cambridge-based advisory firm. He also serves on the board of Affiliated Managers Group and is a trustee of the New York Historical Society and the London-based Centre for Policy Studies.

His book, The Square and the Tower, was published in the US in 2018 and was a New York Times bestseller. A three-part television adaptation called Niall Ferguson’s Networld, aired on PBS in March 2020. And hs latest book, Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe, was published in May 2021.

Speech Topics

With erudition, eloquence, and humour, Niall Ferguson specialises in putting today’s economic shifts, social changes, and political disruptions into historical perspective, using the past as a roadmap to the future.

As a highly sought-after keynote speaker on the global stage, he has provided audiences worldwide with unparalleled insight and knowledge.

Professor Niall Ferguson’s keynote speech topics include:

The Economic, Social and Political Consequences of the Plague: Putting COVID-19 in Historical Perspective

The Populist Challenge to Globalisation: Brexit, Trump, and Beyond
The political events of 2016 in Britain and the United States came as a shock to many people. But to the historian, this was just the latest of many populist backlashes against globalisation. The question is how far populism poses a real threat to democracy, as some have argued. Niall Ferguson argues that, in each case, there was an urgent need for some kind of correction to the trends of the preceding decades, which had led to excessive levels of off-shoring, overseas investment and mass migration. The real question to ask is: What comes next after populism?

The Next Financial Crisis: What Lies Ahead for the Global Financial System?
As the author of The Ascent of Money, Niall Ferguson accurately foresaw the crisis of 2008-9. Ten years on, he asks what the next financial crisis will look like and how near to it we are. With rising interest rates, ever higher mountains of debt and increased risks of a trade war, he argues that trouble is coming soon. How should investors prepare themselves for a crisis that will be very different in nature from the last one? And are there any new opportunities to be found in innovations such as crypto-currency?

Networks and Hierarchies: Society, Technology and Disruption from the Freemasons to Facebook
Niall Ferguson’s book, The Square and the Tower brilliantly anticipated the crisis that has gripped Silicon Valley since the 2016 election. To understand our modern world, he argues, you need an understanding of both network science and history. The networked age is turning out a lot less well than the techno-optimists foresaw. But why? And is there any way of stopping the trends towards polarisation, extreme views and fake news?

"Chimerica": What's Next for the Crucial Relationship Between the People's Republic and the United States?
The most important economic and strategic relationship in the world has, for at least the last ten years, been between the People’s Republic of China and the United States of America: “Chimerica,” as Niall Ferguson called it in 2007. For a time it seemed as if the financial crisis might lead to a divorce between the two, but the relationship survived. Now a protectionist American president and more assertive Chinese president seem to be leading their countries towards some kind of collision on both trade and geopolitics. Can the two avoid sliding into the “Thucydides Trap” of conflict between an incumbent power and a rising power?

Testimonials

Charming, provocative and compelling–exactly what we wanted. I think he really hit it out of the park. The only thing that would have made the evening better is if you had accompanied him!

BMO Financial Group.

Books and DVDs

Clients often ask about purchasing books for giveaways and delegate packs. Below you’ll find a selection of products by Professor Niall Ferguson. Click the images to view on Amazon's website. For bulk orders, please speak with your Booking Agent.

How to book Professor Niall Ferguson for your event

To book Professor Niall Ferguson, please submit an online enquiry, email bookings@nmp.co.uk or speak with one of our booking agents on +44 (0)1372 361 004.

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