Wall Streeters: The Creators and Corruptors of American Finance

Wall Streeters: The Creators and Corruptors of American Finance

by Edward Morris

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Overview

“[A] retelling of the careers and the personalities . . . who formed today’s world of high finance.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 
The 2008 financial collapse, the expansion of corporate and private wealth, the influence of money in politics—many of Wall Street’s contemporary trends can be traced back to the work of fourteen critical figures who wrote, and occasionally broke, the rules of American finance.
 
Edward Morris plots in absorbing detail Wall Street’s transformation from a clubby enclave of financiers to a symbol of vast economic power. His book begins with J. Pierpont Morgan, who ruled the American banking system at the turn of the twentieth century, and ends with Sandy Weill, whose collapsing Citigroup required the largest taxpayer bailout in history. In between, Wall Streeters relates the triumphs and missteps of twelve other financial visionaries. From Charles Merrill, who founded Merrill Lynch and introduced the small investor to the American stock market; to Michael Milken, the so-called junk bond king; to Jack Bogle, whose index funds redefined the mutual fund business; to Myron Scholes, who laid the groundwork for derivative securities; and to Benjamin Graham, who wrote the book on securities analysis. Anyone interested in the modern institution of American finance will devour this history of some of its most important players.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

08/31/2015
Morris, a finance professor and former investment banker, explains American high finance through profiles of some of its formative figures in this interesting, if slightly stodgy, study. Writing for laypeople who are baffled by the recent history of Wall Street—from the meteoric growth of investment banking and the financial services industry to the 2008 crisis and the ongoing recovery—Morris presents short biographies of 14 men behind the financial innovations and markets that underpin the U.S. economy. Innovators Ferdinand Pecora, Charles E. Merrill, Myron S. Scholes, Michael Milken, and Sanford I. Weill are respectively categorized as reformers, democratizers, academics, financial engineers, or empire builders, while J. Pierpont Morgan receives his own chapter. Summing up his view of the complex, volatile world of U.S. finance, Morris observes that “‘bad’ on Wall Street is often just ‘good’ taken to a ruinous extreme.” Though sometimes slow going, this is a worthwhile read for those looking to understand the roots of the financial crisis and the present state of the economy. (Oct.)

Victor Ricciardi

Wall Streeters is a wonderful narrative review and an interesting read. This book will be very significant for students, academics, and investment professionals if they want to understand and learn from the mistakes of the past.

Financial History - Jim Prout

A fast and timely primer on how the U.S. got the financial markets it has today . . . [Wall Streeters] is a book that every college student, baby boomer and voter ought to read.

George H. Walker III

Wall Streeters is a long overdue book by a highly respected student of American finance. Readers of this book will develop a fuller understanding of how and why Wall Street has become what it is today.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Dale Singer

[A] retelling of the careers and the personalities... who formed today's world of high finance.

David Cowen

Enjoyable to read, easy to understand, Wall Streeters is a compendium of the last 150 years of ups and downs in American finance. Ed Morris uses the informative lens of biography to bring this history alive, and they are all here, from the saints to the sinners. Along the way readers will learn the value of finance to our nation, despite Wall Street's problems.

Seeking Alpha - Brenda Jubin

[Morris] puts a human face on Wall Street.... Experienced Wall Streeters will enjoy this book. Students of finance should be required to read it.

From the Publisher

Wall Streeters is a wonderful narrative review and an interesting read. This book will be very significant for students, academics, and investment professionals if they want to understand and learn from the mistakes of the past.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231540506
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 10/13/2015
Series: Columbia Business School Publishing
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 364
File size: 21 MB
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