Idea of de-globalization is a ‘mirage,’ says historian Niall Ferguson
January 17, 2023
The idea that a major trend of de-globalization has begun is a “mirage” that is not borne out by data, according to the historian Niall…
Historian; Visionary; Author; Emmy-Winning Filmmaker, The Ascent of Money; Managing Director, Greenmantle; Milbank Family Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution at Stanford University; Senior Faculty Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard; One of Time Magazine's Most Influential People of the World
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. As the author of sixteen books, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a senior faculty fellow of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, Ferguson has provided audiences worldwide with unparalleled insight and knowledge.
With erudition, eloquence, and humor, Ferguson specializes in putting today’s economic shifts, social changes, and political disruptions into historical perspective, using the past as a roadmap to the future.
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A pandemic, fires, floods, popular unrest — it’s an intertwined pattern seen throughout history and even in the Bible.
Disasters are inherently hard to predict. Pandemics, like earthquakes, wildfires, financial crises, and wars, are not normally distributed; there is no cycle of history to help us anticipate the next catastrophe. But when disaster strikes, we ought to be better prepared than the Romans were when Vesuvius erupted, or medieval Italians when the Black Death struck. We have science on our side, after all.
Yet in 2020 the responses of many developed countries, including the United States, to a new virus from China were badly bungled. Why? Why did only a few Asian countries learn the right lessons from SARS and MERS? While populist leaders certainly performed poorly in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Niall Ferguson argues that more profound pathologies were at work–pathologies already visible in our responses to earlier disasters.
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 polarization, extreme views and fake news?
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 globalization. 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 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?
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?
Niall Ferguson, MA, DPhil, FRSE, is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior faculty fellow of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. He is the author of sixteen books, including The Pity of War, The House of Rothschild, Empire, Civilization and Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist, which won the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Prize. He is an award-winning filmmaker, too, having received an international Emmy for his PBS series The Ascent of Money. His 2018 book, The Square and the Tower, was a New York Times bestseller and was also adapted for television by PBS as Niall Ferguson’s Networld. In 2020 he joined Bloomberg Opinion as a columnist. In addition, he is the founder and managing director of Greenmantle LLC, a New York-based advisory firm, a co-founder of Ualá, a Latin American financial technology company, and a trustee of the New York Historical Society, the London-based Centre for Policy Studies, and the newly founded University of Austin. His latest book, Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe, was published last year by Penguin and was shortlisted for the Lionel Gelber Prize.
"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
Idea of de-globalization is a ‘mirage,’ says historian Niall Ferguson
January 17, 2023
The idea that a major trend of de-globalization has begun is a “mirage” that is not borne out by data, according to the historian Niall…
Progressives Are Beating Populists Yet Again, But Don’t Celebrate
January 15, 2023
Six years ago, populism was on a roll. It has since hit a rock. This should not have surprised anyone. Back in 2017, I argued that populism…
All Is Not Quiet on the Eastern Front
January 1, 2023
2022 was the year in which war made a comeback. But Cold War II could become World War III in 2023 — with China as…
For the Fed, a Red Card From the Seventies
December 18, 2022
Monetary policy is more like the World Cup than it is like mathematics or great literature. As we have seen repeatedly in Qatar this year,…
The Dangerous Wisdom of Chinese Crowds
December 4, 2022
Never underestimate the power of the revolutionary crowd. It has swept through Paris time and again — in 1789, 1830, 1848, 1871 and 1968 —…
FTX Kept Your Crypto in a Crypt Not a Vault
November 20, 2022
The rise and fall of Sam Bankman-Fried is a tale of the way we live now — tweeting, not reading. Sam Bankman-Fried doesn’t read books.…
CHRIS MILLER: CHIP WAR AND THE BATTLE BETWEEN THE US AND CHINA
November 17, 2022
From microwaves to missiles, smartphones to the stock market, our world is increasingly dependent on microchip technology. According to Chris Miller, microchips are the new…
Niall Ferguson, Historian — The Coming Cold War II, Visible and Invisible Geopolitics, Why Even Atheists Should Study Religion, Masters of Paradox, Fatherhood, Fear, and More
November 15, 2022
Niall Ferguson (@nfergus), MA, DPhil, FRSE, is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior faculty fellow of the Belfer…
Bipartisanship Is Dead. Except on China.
November 13, 2022
When US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping meet in Indonesia tomorrow, ahead of the G-20 summit in Bali, how will they break…
Why I now believe Donald Trump will regain the White House: As America goes to the polls in the midterm elections, a dire warning from leading political historian NIALL FERGUSON
November 7, 2022
American novelist Thomas Wolfe noted in his 1935 work Of Time And The River that the baseball World Series regularly coincides with the ‘furious apogee’…
Niall Ferguson on Fiscal and Monetary Instability and Conflicts
October 28, 2022
Niall Ferguson, Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Bloomberg Opinion Columnist, discusses his column: How Cold War II Could Turn Into World…
How Cold War II Could Turn Into World War III
October 23, 2022
History shows that nothing causes fiscal and monetary instability quite like multiple big, long conflicts. A large proportion of the world’s top tourist destinations are…
Trends Are Bad, Events Are Worse, But ‘Trevents’ May Surprise Us
October 2, 2022
We exaggerate the importance of breaking news but we also project illusions about the future. History really gets made in between the short and long…
Ukraine’s Army Is Winning But Its Economy Is Losing
September 13, 2022
The US has been generous with military and financial aid, the Europeans less so. But both must step up the effort to keep Kyiv fighting.…
‘Why shouldn’t it be as bad as the 1970s?’ Historian Niall Ferguson warns the world is sleepwalking into an era of political and economic upheaval akin to the 1970s — only worse.
September 4, 2022
(Morning Star) - "The ingredients of the 1970s are already in place," Ferguson, Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, told CNBC's…
China’s Demographics Spell Decline Not Domination
August 14, 2022
American mortality is up while fertility and immigration are down. Unlike China’s baby bust, however, at least one of these is fixable. Demography isn’t destiny.…
The Four Mysteries of Pelosi’s Troublesome Taiwan Trip
July 29, 2022
(Bloomberg) – Tensions over the island haven’t been this high since 1996, and a visit by the House speaker could push China to the brink.
Sick Stablecoins Can’t Infect Financial Markets
June 12, 2022
(WSJ) - Terra’s collapse worries Janet Yellen. But as with tulip mania, a handful of investors took the losses.
America, China, Russia and the Avalanche of History
May 20, 2022
(Bloomberg) - The world doesn’t move in cycles or with a grand design. Echoes of the 1970s remind us that one disaster often begets others.
Historian Niall Ferguson details ‘Cold War II’ — which ‘began some time ago’
May 8, 2022
(Yahoo Finance) - The world is currently embroiled in "Cold War II" — and has been for a while — and the path ahead is…
Niall Ferguson’s take on the current state of Russia and Ukraine, the possibility of Putin provoking NATO, and the stability within Russia and China
May 3, 2022
(Yahoo! Finance) – Niall Ferguson’s take on the current state of Russia and Ukraine, the possibility of Putin provoking NATO, and the stability within Russia and…
Crypto and the Dollar Are Partners, Not Rivals
May 2, 2022
(Bloomberg) – The disruptions of Covid and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have shown the strength of the Western system and the weakness of China’s.
Most people are bearish because they have forgotten the 1970s, says Stanford’s Niall Ferguson
May 2, 2022
(CNBC) – Niall Ferguson, Stanford University Hoover Institute senior fellow, joins 'Power Lunch' to discuss how current macroeconomic conditions play out, what the best moves…
Globalization dialing back to 2000, global economy disaster similar to 1970s: Ferguson
April 27, 2022
(Pulse News) - Niall Ferguson on Globalization
China’s ‘Zero Covid’ Has Become Xi’s Nemesis
April 17, 2022
(Bloomberg) – Beijing oversold its surveillance-based system of disease control and underestimated the shape-shifting virus. The result is an economic mess — though probably not…
Seven Worst-Case Scenarios From the War in Ukraine
April 3, 2022
(Bloomberg) – Most conflicts end quickly, but this one looks increasingly like it won’t. The repercussions could range from global stagflation to World War III.
Putin Misunderstands History. So, Unfortunately, Does the U.S.
March 23, 2022
(Bloomberg) – Biden is making a colossal mistake in thinking he can bleed Russia dry, topple Putin and signal to China to keep its hands…
1066, 1914, 1989, 2022? We have seen very few years in history that have been truly pivotal…
March 19, 2022
(Daily Mail) – This could be one - but ONLY if the West gets better leadership, argues Niall Ferguson.
Czar Vladimir Putin is divorced from reality: Niall Ferguson
March 12, 2022
(Nikkei Asia) – Xi will ponder whether China could handle sanctions over Taiwan, historian Niall Ferguson says.
Niall Ferguson says the Ukrainian resistance cannot ‘last that much longer’ against Russia’s attacks
March 11, 2022
(CNBC) – Niall Ferguson of the Hoover Institution says the media has encouraged a mistaken assumption that the Ukrainians can hold out.
Putin’s goal is to prevent Ukraine making a ‘success of democracy’, says Niall Ferguson
March 2, 2022
(ABC) – Why is Vladimir Putin so hellbent on pulling Ukraine back into the Russian empire by force? Ferguson explains.
Historian Ferguson on Russia’s Ukraine Attack, China-Taiwan
March 2, 2022
(Bloomberg) – Historian Niall Ferguson discusses Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and its implications for China's stance on Taiwan. He speaks with Haidi Stroud-Watts and Shery…
Joe Biden Has Only Days to Avoid Becoming Jimmy Carter
February 28, 2022
(Bloomberg) – Rampant inflation, foreign policy fiascoes and failed sanctions — is America back in a national malaise?
How to Beat Putin With Natural Gas
February 23, 2022
(WSJ) – America and its allies can wean Europe off its dependence on energy imported from Russia.
Investors Are Often the First Casualties of War
February 21, 2022
(Bloomberg) – From Waterloo to the Ukraine crisis, fears of conflict have moved interest rates, boosted commodities prices and won (and lost) people fortunes.
After Crypto’s Cold Winter, Expect Springtime for Web 3.0
February 6, 2022
(Bloomberg) – Long-run financial history suggests that negative interest rates are not unusual and that DeFi is a bona fide revolution.
What the Pandemic Has Revealed About the US and China
January 31, 2022
(Bloomberg) – Authoritarian regimes tend to boast about themselves and denigrate their rivals. President Xi Jinping's China is no exception.
On GPS: Will Russia invade Ukraine in 2022?
January 9, 2022
(CNN) – The Eurasia Group's Ian Bremmer and the Hoover Institution's Niall Ferguson debate the likelihood of escalated Russian military action in Ukraine this year.
Global Democracy Is Doing Fine. US Democracy Is in Trouble.
December 20, 2021
(Bloomberg) – Foreign rivals hypocritically echo Americans’ own fears about racism and Trumpism, but the real malaise is bipartisan.
Science fiction’s curious ability to predict the future
December 17, 2021
(The Spectator) – To all these potential disasters it is impossible to attach more than made-up probabilities. So what can we do about them?
I’m Helping to Start a New College Because Higher Ed Is Broken
November 8, 2021
(Bloombergs) – Institutions dedicated to the search for truth have ossified into havens for liberal intolerance and administrative overreach.
Climate Promises Cost Nothing. Change Will Cost a Fortune.
October 26, 2021
(Bloomberg) – Glasgow translates as “dear green place.” At COP26, they’ll find that going green is dear indeed.
Bitcoin “an option on digital gold,” Niall Ferguson says
October 6, 2021
(Advisor) – Speaking to the CFA Society Toronto, the historian was bullish on Bitcoin, cautious on inflation and worried about China.
Why the UK and US are united states again… at long last
September 20, 2021
(Daily Mail) – Critics said Joe Biden and Boris Johnson would be the death of the special relationship but Niall Ferguson says that submarine deal…
Sept. 11 and the Future of American History: Niall Ferguson
September 14, 2021
(Bloomberg) – These reflections are prompted by the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Will Xi move on Taiwan? History warns he might: Niall Ferguson
September 10, 2021
(Nikkei Asia) – After Afghanistan, Chinese leader may conclude US won't intervene, scholar says.
50 Years After Going Off Gold, the Dollar Must Go for Crypto: Niall Ferguson
September 1, 2021
(Bloomberg) – If we have learned nothing else from the past half-century, it is surely that the best way to win a race with totalitarian…
Niall Ferguson on why the end of America’s empire won’t be peaceful
August 20, 2021
(The Economist)- As it leaves Afghanistan in chaos, America’s decline mirrors Britain’s a century ago. It may also invite wider conflict, warns a historian.
Reaction podcast: Niall Ferguson and Iain Martin in conversation
August 17, 2021
(Reaction) – On the 6th of July 2021, Reaction hosted an event at the famous Garrick Theatre in London, with professor Niall Ferguson, one of…
50 Years After Going Off Gold, the Dollar Must Go for Crypto
August 15, 2021
(Bloomberg) – After Richard Nixon scrapped Bretton Woods, the U.S. currency’s exorbitant privilege only grew — because the U.S. embraced innovation, not regulation.
The 2020 pandemic was hardly “unprecedented,” says historian Niall Ferguson
July 26, 2021
(GZERO) – Niall Ferguson joins Ian Bremmer to provide perspective on how the COVID crisis stacks up compared to other pandemics throughout history.
The World’s Cascade of Disasters Is Not a Coincidence
July 25, 2021
(Bloomberg) – A pandemic, fires, floods, popular unrest — it’s an intertwined pattern seen throughout history and even in the Bible.
Podcast: How human history is shaped by disaster, according to Niall Ferguson
July 24, 2021
(GZERO) - Stanford historian Niall Ferguson joins Ian Bremmer on the GZERO World podcast to talk about the geopolitics of disaster.
(Podcast) The Exchange: Niall Ferguson on human error
June 29, 2021
(Reuters) – Ferguson joins Pete Sweeney to discuss his latest book on disasters, natural and man-made, and why so many governments got Covid-19 so wrong.
Get Ready to Live With Covid’s Hassles Forever
June 27, 2021
(Bloomberg) – Just as with airline security after 9/11, many "temporary" pandemic regulations are with us to stay.
Organized religion ‘decays’ as political ideologies increasingly viewed in ‘religious light’: Niall Ferguson
June 14, 2021
(FOX) – Historian notes the increasing belief in a static 'science' as 'magical thinking.'
‘I fear we will learn the wrong lessons from Covid’
June 11, 2021
(Spiked) – Niall Ferguson on the history of human catastrophe.
Politics in the Time of Corona
June 6, 2021
(Bloomberg) – Latin American leaders on the right and left have not fared well against Covid. In other ways, too, the U.S. is increasingly resembling…
How a Brainiac and a Villain Became Covid Heroes
May 23, 2021
(Bloomberg) – Audrey Tang empowered Taiwan’s citizens. Dominic Cummings lost out to British bureaucracy.
Is Paranoia the Key to Pandemic Preparedness?
May 18, 2021
(Foreign Affairs) – Hypervigilance Beats Preparation for Unpredictable Crises
The Interview with Hugh Hewitt: Niall Ferguson, author, “Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe”
May 11, 2021
(The Interview with Hugh Hewitt) – Niall Ferguson joins.
The Next Global Disaster Is on Its Way, and We Aren’t Ready
May 9, 2021
(Bloomberg) – A major lesson of Covid-19 is that there is no distinction between natural and man-made catastrophes.
The China model: why is the West imitating Beijing?
May 7, 2021
(The Spectator) – If China ends up winning the Second Cold War, historians ... may well conclude that its victory began when Americans decided to…
Hoover Institution’s Ferguson on his expectations for President Joe Biden’s tax plan
May 5, 2021
(CNBC) – Niall Ferguson joined "Squawk Box" on Wednesday to discuss the battle over taxes on Capitol Hill and how to break the gridlock.
How might Joe Biden’s presidency transform America?
April 30, 2021
(The Economist Podcast) – Historian Niall Ferguson tells us presidents learn the wrong lessons from those who came before them.
Stirring the Melting Pot | GoodFellows: Conversations From The Hoover Institution
April 28, 2021
(Hoover Institution) – Discussing the present crisis at the southern border and what a 21st-century version of immigration reform should resemble.
Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe by Niall Ferguson review
April 26, 2021
(Evening Standard) – From plagues and volcanic eruptions to the current Covid pandemic, mankind has always been faced with catastrophes.
To Save the U.K. Give Scottish Nationalists the Canada Treatment
April 18, 2021
(Bloomberg) – Take it from a Scot abroad: We don't need another referendum.
American decline: Perception or reality?
April 5, 2021
(The Hill) – Decline is a relative term, but clearly by a preponderance of measures America is declining while China is ascending.
Don’t Let China Mint the Money of the Future
April 4, 2021
(Bloomberg) – U.S. policy makers need to wake up to the potential of digital currency and electronic payments and the peril of allowing China to…
A Taiwan Crisis May Mark the End of the American Empire
March 21, 2021
(Bloomberg) – America is a diplomatic fox, while Beijing is a hedgehog fixated on the big idea of reunification.
Bloomberg Wall Street Week: Stimulus Special (Podcast)
March 16, 2021
(Bloomberg) – The conversations highlight how the $1.9 trillion injection of stimulus will affect states, education, and inflation in the United States.
The Fed Doesn’t Fear Inflation. Its Critics Have Longer Memories
March 9, 2021
(Bloomberg) – “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon in the sense that it is and can be produced only by a more rapid…
GameStop, Robinhood and the Return of the Wind Trade
February 7, 2021
(Bloomberg) – The history of economic bubbles casts doubt on the idea that the Reddit rebellion was a victory of the little guy over “the…
History’s Lesson for Biden: Stuff Happens
January 24, 2021
(Bloomberg) – Presidents sworn in during crises are popular at first. But unforeseen events can soon change that.
Trump Did Enormous Damage to His Reputation: Niall Ferguson
January 18, 2021
(Bloomberg) – Niall Ferguson looks at President Donald Trump's legacy and the challenges President-elect Joe Biden is expected to face.
Social media platforms have too much power and nothing is being done about it: Niall Ferguson
January 14, 2021
(CNBC) – Niall Ferguson says social media companies have too much power and there's little being done by regulators to control it.
America Will Achieve Herd Immunity to Trumpism. I Hope.
January 12, 2021
(Bloomberg) – Pandemics have always bred political lunacy, but societies develop resistance to both.
A Craving for Normalcy Spells the End of a Populist Presidency
October 4, 2020
(Bloomberg) - There are nine reasons Trump may still win, but none seems likely.
‘Weimar America’? The Trump Show Is No Cabaret
September 9, 2020
(Bloomberg Opinion) - Detractors have been equating the U.S. with 1920s Germany for 85 years, and they are still wrong.
TikTok Is Inane. China’s Imperial Ambition Is Not.
August 18, 2020
(Bloomberg Opinion) - The U.S. won the Cold War by exporting its values, and China has a similar plan for Cold War II.
Europe’s ‘Hamilton Moment’ Is a Flop. That’s Fine.
July 20, 2020
(Bloomberg Opinion) - Federalizing debt was what united the states, but don't expect the same effect from a European Recovery Fund.
America and China Are Entering the Dark Forest
July 6, 2020
(Bloomberg Opinion) - To know what the Chinese are really up to, read the futuristic novels of Liu Cixin.
America Is on the Road to Relapse Not Recovery
June 23, 2020
(Bloomberg Opinion) - The U.S. isn’t following the example of countries that have shown what a “smart reopening” entails.
2020 Is Not 1968. It May Be Worse.
June 8, 2020
(Bloomberg) - Social unrest helped doom Lyndon Johnson's presidency. It may end up saving Trump's.
Predictions and punts: A retrospective scoring of this column
June 1, 2020
(The Boston Globe) - As these will be my last words in these pages, it’s time to look back and take stock.
Dim lights, big city
May 19, 2020
(The Boston Globe) - Nothing illustrates with shocking clarity the perils of big city life than the coronavirus pandemic.
Life with coronavirus, or the world we might have lost
May 12, 2020
(The Boston Globe) - How much are social mores going to change as a result of the pandemic?
It’s an injustice
May 5, 2020
(The Boston Globe) - Growing up in Glasgow, my friends and I liked to quote Calimero sarcastically at anyone who complained about their lot. ‘It’s…
The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic
April 28, 2020
(The Boston Globe) - These days we are all a bit like those Japanese fishermen, cowering beneath a giant wave, the COVID-19 pandemic.
The economic legacy of a coronavirus lockdown
April 21, 2020
(The Boston Globe) - The fallout from our disastrous COVID-19 policy could tip us into the worst depression since the 1930s.
Why Trump and Xi might both lose the corona wars
April 21, 2020
(The Spectator) - The Covid-19 pandemic came along just as Cold War II was getting under way between the United States and the People’s Republic…
Don’t bet on a quick global resurrection amid COVID-19 pandemic
April 14, 2020
(The Globe and Mail) - Who among today’s great economists will write the Economic Consequences of the Plague? Large parts of the world’s economy have…
Let’s Zoom Xi. He has questions to answer
April 6, 2020
(The Globe and Mail) - China caused this disaster, but now wants to claim the credit for saving us from it. Liberally exporting testing kits…
Donald Trump, the risk-taker, is gambling with lives
March 30, 2020
(The Globe and Mail) - We who only bet occasionally on a horse race are fascinated by true gamblers: those who frequent not only casinos…
Western mismanagement of coronavirus means the elderly are targets
March 24, 2020
(The Boston Globe) - Many will die, but most of the deaths could have been avoided with better preparation and earlier action.
The first coronavirus error was keeping calm
March 16, 2020
(The Times) - Early complacency exacerbated the crisis, but it’s not the only mistake.
‘Network Effects’ Multiply a Viral Threat
March 10, 2020
(The Wall Street Journal) - This isn’t merely a bad flu season. Covid-19 is spreading far faster than most Americans realize.
Trump may shrug off the coronavirus, but the US economy may not
March 2, 2020
(The Boston Globe) - A Covid-19 outbreak in one or more large US cities would inflict a September 11-level hit on the economy and a…
Bloomberg’s long shot
February 25, 2020
(The Boston Globe) - As Elizabeth Warren put it in last Wednesday’s debate, Bloomberg simply has too much in common with the 73-year-old former Democratic…
Today’s strongmen are weaker than we think
February 21, 2020
(The Times) - The lesson of history is that dictators tend not to die in their beds
Senators hail their emperor, but Trump’s no shoo-in for a second term
February 11, 2020
(The Boston Globe) - The eventual Democratic nominee will have at least some chance of beating Trump.
Prof. Niall Ferguson: A Brief History of Tomorrow (Part one)
February 7, 2020
(St. Galllen Symposium) - In this two-part interview, Niall Ferguson and Grégoire Roos exchange on how the Millenials are about to disrupt politics in the…
The deadliest virus we face is complacency
February 6, 2020
(The Boston Globe) - The Black Death — mainly bubonic plague but also the even more lethal pneumonic variant — killed between 75 million and…
Davos Man is cooling on Stockholm Girl Greta Thunberg
January 27, 2020
(The Times) - Delegates publicly praise the gloomy activist, but privately prefer dirty Don.
Donald Trump must split up Putin and Xi, the new odd couple
January 21, 2020
(The Times) - The US can win the Second Cold War only by drawing apart the Russian and Chinese leaders
Niall Ferguson: ” Trump Unleashed”
January 16, 2020
(Die Weltwoche) - New York Times bestselling author, Emmy award winning documentarist, and celebrated conservative intellectual — predicts this year’s newest conflict zones and examines…
The Trump family and the Corleone Doctrine
January 15, 2020
(The Boston Globe) - It is certainly no cause for glee that the most powerful man in the world should aspire to be a mafioso.…
Niall Ferguson: Liberal democracy will not survive the 21st century
January 10, 2020
(National Post) - Although I regret it very much, I believe that liberal democracy as we know it won’t survive the 21st century.
Civil war in Iraq? Quite possibly. World War III? Forget about it.
January 6, 2020
(Boston Globe) - The United States may now face pandemonium in Iraq, but Iran will not necessarily be the beneficiary.
It’s One Nation under Boris Johnson’s populist groove
December 17, 2019
(The Times) - The PM’s cheerful version of national conservatism swept him to victory.
General election 2019: There is no winner in a deadlocked democracy
December 10, 2019
(The Times) - A close result on Thursday would be a disaster for Boris and for Britain
The New Cold War? It’s With China, and It Has Already Begun
December 9, 2019
(The New York Times) - Turning Point: The United States and China intensified their trade war in 2019, plunging global markets into uncertainty.
Donald Trump’s coming to the UK, Nato’s going nowhere
December 2, 2019
(The Times) - Tomorrow is the day it could all go wrong for Boris Johnson. It is bad enough opinion polls have him on course…
Hong Kong’s ‘ant tribe’ rejects a life of slavery
November 26, 2019
(The Times) - Both in China and the territory, workers are turning on their masters.
Trump impeachment smells fishy in the Midwest
November 19, 2019
(The Times) - Middle America isn’t hungry for hearings, but Trump 2020 is no sure thing
Conversations with John Anderson: Featuring Niall Ferguson
November 18, 2019
(Conversations with John Anderson) - Harvard and Stanford Universities Senior Fellow and prolific author Niall Ferguson is one of the world's pre-eminent experts on history,…
Lest we forget, history has lessons to teach
November 15, 2019
(The Times) - This is the time of year when I get the paper-flower question. Living in California, but born in Britain, I am one…
Like the Berlin Wall, China’s Great Firewall will also fall
November 4, 2019
(The Boston Globe) - Thirty years ago, I was in love — with Berlin.
Ferguson Says the Costs of Brexit Will Be Significant
October 30, 2019
(Bloomberg) - Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Niall Ferguson talks about his outlook for the U.K. economy, the EU, Brexit and the U.S.-China trade war.
Baby sharks take to the streets
October 29, 2019
(The Boston Globe) - As revolutionary anthems go, “Baby Shark” is unusual. The bloodthirsty “Marseillaise” it ain’t, nor the once-stirring, now threadbare “Internationale.” When the…
Mark Zuckerberg is right about free speech and the Web
October 21, 2019
(The Boston Globe) - An unusual thing happened last week. Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, gave a speech with which I mostly agreed.
If Elizabeth Warren surges, and economy stutters, she could win the presidency
October 15, 2019
(The Boston Globe) - Is it conceivable that, in just over a year’s time, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts could defeat Donald Trump to become…
China’s three-body problem
October 8, 2019
(The Boston Globe) - Two weeks ago, I bet the Chinese economist Justin Yifu Lin 20,000 yuan that China’s economy — defined as gross domestic…
European Millennials Are Not Like Their American Counterparts
October 2, 2019
(The Atlantic) - Under-30s in Europe are more disposed than their parents are to view poverty as a result of an individual’s choice.
Could this be Trump’s Chernobyl?
September 30, 2019
(The Boston Globe) - The key point “Chernobyl” makes is that the chronic inefficiency, corruption and untruthfulness of Soviet life guaranteed that one day a…
Science Fiction Has Become Utopian Fact
September 22, 2019
(The Times) - So which dystopia are we living in? Orwell and Huxley were not the first to fear an age of mass surveillance.
The Ascent of Digital Money
September 20, 2019
(The Boston Globe) - China’s online payment platforms are the real threat to US hegemony.
Boris vs. Jo — oh brother
September 11, 2019
(The Boston Globe) - To lose 21 members of Parliament may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose your own brother looks like carelessness.
US and China in the early stages of a second Cold War
September 6, 2019
(CNBC) - Niall Ferguson, senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, discusses world politics and the U.S.-China trade war.
Niall Ferguson: Back to Bi-Polar
September 4, 2019
(GZERO Media) - Historian Niall Ferguson explains why a new Cold War is heating up between the US and China, and why — unlike the…
Beware Greta Thunberg’s science fiction — the end of the world is not nigh
September 4, 2019
(The Boston Globe) - The arrival of Greta Thunberg in New York on Thursday was one of many recent events that illustrate how rapidly modern…
From Trump’s trade wars to Brazil’s fires, the world is on the brink
August 27, 2019
(The Times) - Global games of chicken are frying our planet.
Predicting a recession? Might as well predict the weather
August 20, 2019
(The Boston Globe) - Edward Lorenz, the pioneer of chaos theory, famously suggested that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil could set off…
Donald Trump’s crazy tariffs have outfoxed the Federal Reserve
August 5, 2019
(The Times) - The wily president has turned the tables on once-mighty central bankers
Boris, the Churchill of Brexit, has Corbyn on the ropes
July 30, 2019
(The Times) - PM’s road out of the EU is paved with rocks and hard places
Extract from Niall Ferguson’s The Ascent of Money: Populists reaped the rewards of the financial crisis — now they are set to trigger a new crash
July 16, 2019
(The Times) - The redundancies at Deutsche Bank show we’re still feeling the economic effects of 2008. In an extract from a new edition of…
A Fine Time to Become an American
July 11, 2019
(PragerU) - Renowned Oxford-trained historian Niall Ferguson recounts his recent experience of becoming an American citizen. His unique impressions are both moving and surprising — even…
Wodehousian Boris Johnson is the past, not the future
July 8, 2019
(The Globe and Mail) - Like fears of a European superstate, party hierarchies are passé
Norman Stone served up wise words to Thatcher, and Guinness and Nietzsche to me
June 25, 2019
(The Times) - A mercurial genius, the Oxford historian who died last week at 78 won the ear of power and the hearts of students,…
A salute to great teachers
June 18, 2019
(The Boston Globe) - ‘Boris sometimes seems affronted when criticised for what amounts to a gross failure of responsibility (and surprised at the same time…
Free speech is in free fall in Silicon Valley
June 11, 2019
(The Times) - Big tech companies are openly engaged in political censorship
Don’t give our mutual friend Trump a hard time
June 4, 2019
(The Times) - Britons sneer at the president, but America is in better shape than we are
Two simple rules to start investing
June 3, 2019
(CNBC) - Financial historian and Stanford professor Niall Ferguson admits he lost fifty percent on an investment he made in 2018. But he believes that…
The outbreak of the second Cold War
May 28, 2019
(The Boston Globe) - Regular readers of this column will not have been surprised by the outbreak of the Second Cold War. Ever since President…
Here’s what could be next for the UK after Theresa May leaves
May 28, 2019
(CNBC) - Niall Ferguson, Hoover Institution, joins CNBC to discuss the future of Brexit following Theresa May's announcement that she will resign as U.K. prime…
China finds Trump does have a principle
May 21, 2019
(The Boston Globe) - Protectionism hurts Beijing more than the US, and plays well politically
Young Americans have no clue about socialism
May 14, 2019
(The Times) - Talking about the s-word could be the Democrats’ great gift to Trump
The Coming Generation War
May 8, 2019
(The Atlantic) - The Democrats are rapidly becoming the party of the young—and the consequences could be profound.
Donald Trump won’t take on Nicolas Maduro’s muchachos in Venezuela
May 7, 2019
(The Times) - The gangster boss is safe for now, thanks to Beijing and Moscow.
Biden is in, but Bernie reigns
April 30, 2019
(The Boston Globe) - Obama’s veep thinks he’s the man to beat Trump, but he’s got competition
Financial historian Niall Ferguson reveals the best ways to spend and save when you’re young
April 29, 2019
(CNBC) - Financial historian and Stanford professor Niall Ferguson admits that it took him years to create a budget and put his spending habits in a…
Scorched but standing — two symbols of the West
April 22, 2019
(The Times) - ‘Absolutely heartbreaking. A magnificent monument to western civilisation collapsing.” Thus wrote the mercurial young conservative Ben Shapiro last Monday before it was…
A message to all professional thinkers — we either hang together or we hang separately
April 16, 2019
(The Boston Globe) - Seventy years ago this month, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was established to protect Western Europe and the freedoms of its…
Donald Trump is the one check on China’s European march
April 9, 2019
(The Times) - It is hard to believe, with the world (and especially The New York Times) laughing at us, that for roughly 2½ centuries…
How Japan must pity the land of the setting sun
April 2, 2019
(The Boston Globe) - Despite the bitter war they fought in the 1940s, Japan and Britain (my native country) have much in common.
The Bosnian War rages still in Christchurch
March 26, 2019
(The Boston Globe) - It is more than a quarter of a century since Bosnia descended into a bloody conflict that claimed tens of thousands…
Americans don’t believe in meritocracy – They believe in fake-it-ocracy
March 19, 2019
(The Boston Globe) - Americans believe in meritocracy in principle. Polls show that significant majorities — between 67% and 70% since Gallup began asking the…
Fed has moved in the direction of a make up strategy
March 15, 2019
(CNBC) - Niall Ferguson of the Stanford University Hoover Institution and Jim Caron from Morgan Stanley Investment Management join 'The Exchange' to discuss risks to…
In this Cold War between Trump and China, beware the enemy within
March 11, 2019
(The Times) - If you’d told me 30 years ago America would be in another Cold War with another communist superpower by 2019, I wouldn’t…
Micky Goodfella Cohen won’t take out Donald Trump
March 4, 2019
(The Times) - The president’s ex-lawyer squeals, but no one knows when this show ends.
‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ – political style
February 19, 2019
(The Boston Globe) - Trump and May should remember rock-star brinkmanship can kill
The Democrats’ dilemma: two parties in one
February 12, 2019
(The Boston Globe) - Last week I began to understand how the Democrats will lose the 2020 presidential election.
Donald Trump’s trade war is now a tech world war
February 4, 2019
(The Times) - Are the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China heading for a new Cold War? And if they are,…
In our ‘emocracy,’ emotions rule
January 28, 2019
(The Boston Globe) - We no longer live in a democracy. We live in an emocracy — where emotions rather than majorities rule and feelings…
Doubt China’s Xi Jinping can offer US agreeable deal, says Hoover Institute’s Ferguson
January 25, 2019
(CNBC) - The Closing Bell team breaks down the latest surrounding China's tech companies amid the trade war with Niall Ferguson from the Hoover Institute…
It’s Python politics if that Brexit blow on Theresa May was just a flesh wound
January 22, 2019
(The Times) - As Theresa May went from crushing defeat on Tuesday to narrow victory on Wednesday, I’m sure I was not the only one…
Why I’m not writing off Donald Trump’s border wall just yet
January 15, 2019
( The Globe and Mail) - Very often, the Trump presidency feels as if it’s being written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the comic…
2018 — the year that went back in time
December 27, 2018
(The Boston Globe) - The year 2018 will be remembered for our collective attempt to make believe that it is in fact 1973.
2019 is The Best Time In All of History, but Tomorrow May Still Be Bleak
December 27, 2018
(CNN) - It is empirically a fact that we are living in the best time in human history. Poverty, sickness, insecurity are following their long term…
Don’t let Brexit take the Tory out of Tolkien
December 19, 2018
(Boston Globe) - You really know your political career is in trouble when people start comparing you to Gollum.
America After the Midterms
December 18, 2018
(The Agenda with Steve Paikin) - The Agenda welcomes two observers of U.S. politics: Niall Ferguson, author and historian; and David Frum, journalist and author,…
Why it’s not as simple as “breaking up big tech”
December 17, 2018
(Prospect Magazine) - We’ll hear a lot more about breaking up big tech in 2019. However, there are significant problems with anti-trust law that we…
When it comes to politics: nothing works
December 11, 2018
By Niall Ferguson (original source The Boston Globe) “Back in the 1970s, the joke was that run-down Glasgow was Disneyland. “Aye, because this disnae work,…
The G-20 dines a lot, but it doesn’t make progress
December 5, 2018
(The Boston Globe) - The trivial details of the personal relations between the leaders provide endless fodder for journalists, but they are inconsequential.
Has Trump peaked?
November 26, 2018
(The Boston Globe) - On the day that Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate as the newest Supreme Court justice — a day many…
The US would be in a bigger mess under Clinton than it is under Trump, historian Niall Ferguson says
September 6, 2018
(CNBC) - A Hillary Clinton presidency would have been even more disruptive than the current Donald Trump administration, historian and prolific author Niall Ferguson told…
Voters are still devouring Donald Trump’s dark materials
August 26, 2018
(The Times) - If Hillary Clinton were president, Congress would have already impeached her
How Zuckerberg’s Facebook is like Gutenberg’s printing press
March 28, 2018
(The Washington Post) - When historian Niall Ferguson moved from Harvard to Stanford two years ago, he was struck by Silicon Valley’s indifference to history.
A brief history of the Doniverse
March 19, 2018
(Boston Globe) - The general theory of relativity describes the force of graft-ity as it acts on Trump’s relatives. Bunkum mechanics, on the other hand,…
Niall Ferguson’s “The Square and the Tower”
January 25, 2018
(Hoover Institution) - Niall Ferguson, author of The Square and the Tower, argues that networks are not a new phenomenon and have been impacting human…
The US security strategy falls short, but not for the reasons cited by Trump critics
December 26, 2017
(South China Morning Post) - As 2017 draws to a close, the world has seldom been so binary. You love Donald Trump or you loathe him. You adore Brexit or…
Niall Ferguson Gives Insight into Donald Trump’s Success | Good Morning Britain
October 4, 2017
(Good Morning Britain) - Joining Good Morning Britain to talk about his new book 'The Square and the Tower', Niall Ferguson comments on the reasons…
Niall Ferguson on the Globalisation and the Liberal Democratic Idea
June 20, 2017
(Central European University) - CEU's Rethinking Open Society project brings leading thinkers to CEU to examine open society, its history, its achievements and failures, and…