Renowned UK financial historian, Niall Ferguson, will make his New Zealand debut next week in a one-time-only deal at the Portfolio Construction Forum (PCF) Symposium in Auckland.
In a coup for the Graham Rich-run PCF, Ferguson – author of 14 books including the bestseller-cum-TV series ‘The ascent of money’ – will front the Symposium next Tuesday as keynote speaker.
According to the PCF website, Ferguson has been lured to NZ for the first time to speak at the Symposium in what will be his only formal presentation in the country.
Rich has an association with Ferguson dating back seven years, the PCF website says.
“Previously, he delivered the opening lecture of our inaugural Academy program in Australia in 2010. He has not visited Australia or NZ since,” the PCF site says.
However, while Ferguson makes only a one-off appearance in New Zealand he has a somewhat fuller diary across the Tasman.
“He is following his engagement with us with a short visit to Australia, working with think tank, Centre for Independent Studies, delivering a limited number of presentations,” the Symposium promo says.
As well as his publishing and media accomplishments, Ferguson boasts a string of academic titles to his name, including: Laurence A Tisch professor of history at Harvard University; senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University; and, senior research fellow at Jesus College, Oxford.
In an article published last week on the PCF website, he struck an upbeat note arguing against the global deflation scenario painted by famed investor George Soros at the Davos World Economic Forum this January.
Ferguson says in the article titled ‘The world will bounce back from the blues in the loos’, at least four factors could prove Soros wrong on deflation.
Firstly, he says a swag of “amazing innovation” in technology was driving a “new industrial revolution”.
“Second, commodity crashes tend to correct themselves as supply shrinks in response to low prices,” Ferguson says. “That will surely begin to happen in the oil market this year, especially if (as I fear) conflict in the Middle East continues to escalate.”
Also, he says Chinese demand for oil was still on the up while global elite angst epitomised by Davos does not appear to have spilled over to US consumers.
“Of course, if Trump confounds my Republican friends by winning their party’s nomination and then the presidency, all bets will be off,” Ferguson says. “Until, that is, President Trump turns up at Davos in 2017 and reminds his fellow billionaires that, when all is said and done, he is really one of them – just another frisky Davos fresher, ready for four days of bumping, doing deals and deciding the next Davos mood.”