If you want to learn more about the amazing history of money and finance, here's an excellent PBS series on the subject: The Ascent of Money by Harvard Professor Niall Ferguson. Online episodes can be found here. Below, the introductory segment.
"I want not so much free trade as the spirit of free trade for my country. Free trade means a little more wealth; the spirit of free trade is a reform of the mind itself, that is to say, the source of all reforms."
"The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental or spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest." John Stuart Mill