The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson
An interesting account of the evolution of money, from the early Mesopotamia era to Roman coins to the trading of collateralized debt obligation we have today. Niall succeeds in creating an accessible book that keeps your attention throughout.
People say money is the root of all evil but this book shows the opposite. While people can use money for evil deeds, the structured system we have today also opens up doors to trade and investment better than any time in history. Today most families, via retirement accounts, are invested in thousands of companies across the world. Companies can raise money with ease and the markets allow investors to liquidate their holdings at any time. Well, under normal circumstances.