Wall Streeters: The Creators and Corruptors of American Finance
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The factors that led to the 2008 financial collapse, the terms of America’s postcrisis recovery, the forces expanding corporate and private wealth, and the growing influence of money in politicsmany 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 provides a thorough account of 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 ideas and missteps of twelve other financial visionaries, including Charles Merrill, who founded Merrill Lynch and introduced the small investor to the American stock market; Michael Milken, the so-called junk bond king; Jack Bogle, whose index funds redefined the mutual fund business; Myron Scholes, who laid the groundwork for derivative securities; and Benjamin Graham, who wrote the book on securities analysis.