He spoke recently with Ann Brocklehurst. You say stock markets advertise themselves as institutions that promote investment and allow businesses to grow when, in fact, that is only a minor part of what they do. How minor? I'd say it's a very, very small portion of what the market's all about. Firms fund very little of their investment programs on the markets, especially the stock market. When they do go outside for capital, they go first to banks, then the bond market, and the stock market is at the very bottom of the list.
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With compelling clarity, Henwood dissects the world's greatest financial center, laying open the Intricacies of how, and for whom, the market works. The Wall Street which emerges is not a pretty sight. Hidden from public view, the markets are poorly regulated, badly managed, chronically myopic and often corrupt.
And though, as Henwood reveals, their activity contributes al With compelling clarity, Henwood dissects the world's greatest financial center, laying open the Intricacies of how, and for whom, the market works.
And though, as Henwood reveals, their activity contributes almost nothing to the real economy where goods are made and jobs created, they nevertheless wield enormous power. With over a trillion dollars a day crossing the wires between the world's banks, Wall Street and its sister financial centers don't just influence government, effectively they are the government. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published June 17th by Verso first published June 1st More Details Original Title.
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Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. Sort order. Sep 25, Bobby rated it really liked it Shelves: politics , nonfiction. This is a tough book for me to review because while I wanted to understand finance from a critical left point of view and I enjoy Doug Henwood's writing, the actual workings of finance and financial theory I find painfully tedious.
So I ultimately felt like I got the general nature of the critique that the financial industry exists to serve the ruling class and make the rich richer, which was valuable and I did appreciate the explanation of why that is and the way he exposes the financial indust This is a tough book for me to review because while I wanted to understand finance from a critical left point of view and I enjoy Doug Henwood's writing, the actual workings of finance and financial theory I find painfully tedious.
So I ultimately felt like I got the general nature of the critique that the financial industry exists to serve the ruling class and make the rich richer, which was valuable and I did appreciate the explanation of why that is and the way he exposes the financial industry's bullshit. But I did stop reading around halfway through because I'm just not that interested in the details and wanted to move on with my life.
Oct 26, AC rated it it was amazing Shelves: markets. View 2 comments. Apr 21, Kyle rated it it was amazing. I cant wait to read his book on the end of the 'new economy', although after reading wall street I'm not sure what about it he would need to correct or change to account for the bursting of the dotcom or the housing bubbles, since some parts of the book read as if they were written in the middle of the TARP era. Jan 08, Graeme rated it really liked it.
Although it was written a decade plus ago, this is the best, most readable, account of the guts of our financial system I'm aware of.
The solutions to the massive problems laid out in the book are a tad bit slim, and you are assumed to be somewhat familiar with basic economic lingo. It is currently out of print, but offered for free online.
A simple google search will locate it. Feb 08, Rob Trump rated it really liked it. Very good. Worth the price of admission for Chapter 5 alone, which is a mini-macroeconomics textbook both more true to the spirit of Keynes than most high school textbooks and more readable than the actual Keynes of the General Theory.
Dense and data-heavy in the same way Piketty is, but with a bolder, and I think better, perspective. Recommended if you're into this sort of thing. Feb 22, Justin rated it liked it Shelves: free-ebook.
A bit hard to read and not too actionable. Feb 18, Nick Klagge rated it liked it Shelves: economics. I started reading this book because I've been reading some left-leaning econ bloggers Josh Mason, Mike Konczal and ran across mention of Henwood and this book a few times.
Make no mistake, "Wall Street" is a hard-left leaning book. It was definitely an interesting read, especially because it was written in the mids. I give DH a lot of credit: today, it's relatively acceptable to argue that the financial system does not allocate capital optimally, since the wreckage is staring us in the face I started reading this book because I've been reading some left-leaning econ bloggers Josh Mason, Mike Konczal and ran across mention of Henwood and this book a few times.
I give DH a lot of credit: today, it's relatively acceptable to argue that the financial system does not allocate capital optimally, since the wreckage is staring us in the face; in the mids, during the early boom years of the New Economy, it certainly took a lot more courage. The most interesting part of this book for me was its discussion of the economic and societal role of the stock market.
Econ tells us that the function of the stock market is to allocate capital to real-economy enterprises. DH along with Mason and others argues that this is not really the case, that firms empirically fund most capital investment out of internal funds, and that stock markets mainly serve as a source of liquidity for existing owners of capital. Although DH is making his argument in a journalistic style and not a rigorous academic form, this view is certainly supported by the recent IPO plans of Groupon, LinkedIn, and Facebook, which all have publicly stated that they do not need the cash but would like to give their existing equity holders a liquid market that they can use to mark the value of their holdings or to exit.
This function is still, of course, related to capital allocation, just like an exhaust system affects the performance of a car engine, but the connection may be much less direct than the Econ picture would lead us to believe. Also, in a world with Shleifer-Vishny limits to arbitrage, we may only be able to hold the weak efficient markets hypothesis or what Rajiv Sethi prefers to call the Invincible Markets Hypothesis , which says that it's impossible to beat the market, but not that the market correctly values real-world assets--meaning that it may not be an efficient allocator of capital even when used as such.
If you don't agree, there is a subdivision in Nevada that I'd like to sell you. Oftentimes, policies that benefit holders of financial assets are promoted using the argument that "Hey, almost everyone owns some stock. All that said, I didn't love the book. DH is often too facile with his examples--for instance, holding up Japanese keiretsu as an example of more equitable economic organization is a cartel really better for the little guy? There is also a fairly long Freudian digression which I found completely bizarre and off-putting.
View 1 comment. Oct 13, Omar Halabieh rated it really liked it. As the title indicates, this book is an introduction to Wall Street - how it works and for whom. The book is composed of seven chapters as follows: 1- Instruments: This chapter covers the range of instruments traded on Wall Street, such as stocks, bonds, derivatives, currencies etc.
It also includes a sample trading week to put these concepts into action. It also discusses features of these markets, namely efficiency, disinformation, noise, fads, and bubbles. The breadth of topics discussed within this book is commendable, backed by a plethora of references for further reading in areas of interest.
Chapters 1 and 2, serve as a great introduction and primer on the financial markets. The insight, stories and practical example presented make this book accessible. A final, and important comment to keep in mind, is that the author presents the content of the book particularly the later chapters from a leftist perspective. Dec 10, Kent rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: everyone. It's right up there with Anarcho-Syndicalism and Notes on Anarchism.
The most interesting thing about this book is his explanation that there is a major divide in the ruling class between managers and rich families. Basically, if you have a ton of money, you are pitted against economic growth. The needs of the bond markets long-term investments that are weakened by inflation have determined our low-growth economic policies and limited possibilities for unionization and economic equality in the U.
As soon as the labor market gets tight and unions make gains, the banks tighten up the money supply and stop economic growth. They'd rather grind the economy to a halt then share the wealth and power with the workers who generate it. They are absolutely terrified of workers joining together and fighting for unions. A fascinating read.
Sep 11, Robb Bridson rated it it was amazing. This is an interesting book to read over a decade later because The supply-siders are making the same ridiculous calls as in the '90s only now in a finger-shaking manner rather than a boastful one-- somehow in either case, they avoid responsibility for the mess that, apparently, people could see coming.
This book can be dry at times, but offers a good outsider look at the financial world and what it's doing to the larger world. In addition it offers a relevant modernta This is an interesting book to read over a decade later because In addition it offers a relevant moderntake on Marxism that can also be refreshing to the moderate Keynsian. The last chapter makes the book, as the author tears down the awful idea of social security privatization currently replaced by privatization of government health plans by the supply-side maniacs and neo-liberal "third way" plots like micro-loaning.
Unfortunately his own ideas are difficult to implement as any real solution will be because they count on a massive cultural change from bottom-up institutions.
Bullish on Bunk
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Wall Street: How It Works and for Whom
Doug Henwood born December 7, is an American journalist, economic analyst, author, and financial trader who writes frequently about economic affairs. He publishes a newsletter, Left Business Observer , that analyzes economics and politics from a left-wing perspective. He is also co-owner and co-editor with Phillipa Dunne of The Liscio Report , a newsletter focusing on macroeconomic analysis. Henwood is a contributing editor at The Nation. As a youth Henwood was acquainted with Marxism , but he briefly self-identified with conservatism towards the end of high school. Henwood received a B. After college, Henwood worked as secretary to the chair of a small Wall Street brokerage firm headed by a former Bell Labs physicist who used quantitative analysis techniques in the mids, predating the later widespread adoption of similar methods on Wall Street.
The Wall Street Book Everyone Should Read