Niall Ferguson is a popular historian that's hosting an excellent series on PBS entitled The Ascent of Money.
Lotsa cool stuff about the role of money and credit in shaping society and Niall makes it easy to follow. Recommended for you to get a sense of how this stuff works in real life.
You can watch the entire 4 part series on the official PBS web site here.
Part Four is dedicated to the current financialization crisis.