Home » My 8 weeks at Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program » Day 37 – Historian’s view of the Financial Crisis

Day 37 – Historian’s view of the Financial Crisis

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We had a lecture this afternoon by Niall Ferguson.  Niall is a professor both at Harvard University and Harvard Business School. At Harvard University, he teaches History.  He is also a Senior Research Fellow at Oxford University and a Senior Fellow at Stanford University. Accomplished man?  To say the least! – he was very impressive.  I have a video that I will put at some other time – I am having problems with the orientation of the video.  The video talks about the similarities between the British Empire and the US.  The war brought down the British Empire but the financial crisis will bring down the US.  However, it is important to note the similarities between the size and control the two countries have/had.

He started his presentation with his view – ‘Chiamerica is headed for a divorce!’  This was an article he published in the Wall Street Journal on Feb 7, 2007 much before the financial crisis came to light.

chimericaIn his view, China will divorce from America and will have to create internal consumption and stop supporting the vicious cycle of investing back in the US.  At one time, 75% of bonds issued by the US government were being bought by China – that cannot continue anymore.  It is not going to be easy for China but they will have to do it and it will be better in the long run.

Here is Naill presenting in class – very passionate, animated  and engaging speaker.

Naill FegusonOutside of class, we have come to a conclusion that the curve of the highway outside our living room window is severely accident prone.  Today marked the 8th accident we have witnessed in the last 6 weeks.  And I am sure there have been many while we have been in class.

Today there were two – one around 8 AM – a lady driving her 2 kids to school and one in the afternoon – an old lady who hit the barrier and spin out.  She clearly was in a state of shock.

I was about to call 911 but someone beat me to the punch.

Here is the picture of the crash. Notice the road is slick with the rain.  We are going to suggest to Cambridge Police to post some signs because we are convinced that this is a hazardous curve!




  1. Nikita says:

    I think America should be compared to the ancient civilization of Rome. It was a large empire and made many new technological advances that are still used today. ( For example, the aqueduct is used in many countries today to transport water from one place to another.) It also had a very large and powerful military, just like America is today.

    In the empire’s later years, it suffered many problems that the U.S is suffering today. Too much money was spent on the military, leaving very little money for other important things like education. There was also political corruption and inflation.

  2. That’s a great parallel Nikita. In fact, Cicero, the famous Roman orator had once warned that “The arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and assistance to foreign hands should be curtailed, lest Rome fall”. Well guess what ? Rome did fall – and for some of the same reasons you pointed out earlier.

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