PostHeaderIcon 100 Years of Wall Street

Financial ups and downs are only part of the 20th century saga of Wall Street. The street symbolizes the historic triumphs, failures and excesses of capitalism, but it has also been the scene of great human achievements and epic tragedies. Like America itself, “The Street” has shown almost boundless optimism and tenacity in the face of adversity. It has also revealed a surprising weakness for foolishness along with an unpredictable capacity for bursts of genius, innovation and success. That is why 100 YEARS OF WALL STREET, the story of the world's financial center, is also the story of our American century from our first uncertain steps on the international stage to the responsibilities and challenges we face as the sole superpower at the end of the millennium.

The expert and occasionally bemused guide to the story is Charles R. Geisst, who is renowned as a historian, best-selling author, financial scholar and corporate consultant. He is also a gifted storyteller who reveals how the smallest details produce crucial shifts in the big picture. With wit and profound insight, Geisst takes the reader behind the scenes to explain how powerful personalities and unexpected developments created the financial, cultural and social events that helped shape our world. We are the heirs of Wall Street's phenomenal achievement, but it has also fueled runaway greed. It has contributed to growth while scrapping large sectors of the economy. Is the market “fair” or “just”?

What do such questions really mean?
Geisst dramatically brings to life a world that can only be fully understood by following its secret deals, monumental transactions, colorful characters, earth-rattling market collapses and exhilarating highs. There are 200 photographs and other illustrations 100 YEARS OF WALL STREET, many of them rarely reproduced. They portray famous crises, the day-to-day grind and, above all, many of the human beings who toiled, schemed or created wise reforms at the center of global financial activity.

The careers and personalities of the century's wealthiest men — Vanderbilts, Carnegies, Morgans, Milkens, Boeskys — become an important part of Geisst's fascinating history. On the one hand, there were the Titans who shrewdly built their investments into vast fortunes and just as cleverly built solid public reputations. In contrast were the high-rollers and outlaws who fell off the tightrope, winding up as suicides or bankrupts or convicted felons. Decade-by-decade, with the most important dates highlighted, 100 YEARS OF WALL STREET is a deftly crafted introduction to the compelling true story of “The Street.”

It is also a rich source of little-known anecdotes and new insights for anyone who invests or works in today's financial climate. Geisst places the present in the context of a century of chaos and corruption, leadership and huge losses, insider trading and ticker-tape parades. His unforgettable scandalous tales, hilarious anecdotes and legendary rumors have never been reported in the Dow Jones average. With market levels at astronomical highs, no one can question the powerful role played by Wall Street and its movers and shakers today. For an engaging and solidly researched account of its century-long grip on American history, 100 YEARS OF WALL STREET earns a permanent place in the library of anyone who wants to understand the background of today's bull market and the wide range of possible scenarios for the future.

In 100 Years of Wall Street, Charles Geisst (author of Wall Street: A History) takes us on a tour of one of America's most storied institutions. From the early bucket shops at the turn of the century to Maria Bartiromo of CNBC, Geisst, with the help of a collection of pictures, charts, cartoons, and stock certificates presents an entertaining look at the remarkable changes that have transformed this small corner of New York into the cornerstone of the world's financial markets.

5 Responses to “100 Years of Wall Street”

  • BeachReader says:

    Review by BeachReader for 100 Years of Wall Street
    This book, rich with wonderful old photos, gives a concise history of the last 100 years of the financial culture that has come to be known as Wall Street. A good blend of text, photos, and charts make this book interesting to the non-financial reader.The author divided the book into decades and each chapter outlined the changes that occurred over those years.At the beginning of the last century, Wall Street was known for its lack of financial regulation regarding trades. Scandals and outright swindles abounded. Four years after the Crash of 1929, FDR’s administration passed nationwide banking and securities laws to make sure that this kind of disaster did not happen again.Unfortunately, the real and distasteful inner workings of Wall Street were revealed in the Senate hearings. An SEC commissioner called investment bankers “financial termites”. This knowledge scared investors away for the next 20 years.In the early 50s, investing became popular with middle class investors for the first time in a generation, and mutual funds were developed after being gone for 30 years.The 60s brought the birth of the modern mergers and acquisitions business in the U.S, and the days of small brokerage firms were coming to an end.The 70s brought extensive reforms concerning commissions while the 80s were the years of junk bonds, insider trading scandals, and the savings and loan crisis.The author called the 80s the decade of greed and the 90s the decade of boom. The Internet has brought about a totally new way of trading stocks and has made up-to-the-minute financial news available to everyone.The changes in the last 100 years on Wall Street have been phenomenal, mirroring the technological changes in our society.

  • Rolf Dobelli says:

    Review by Rolf Dobelli for 100 Years of Wall Street
    Charles R. Geisst’s enjoyable book chronicles Wall Street in the twentieth century. He effectively captures the feel of the various boom and bust periods. The clear, informative text is supplemented with incredible black and white photographs of each period’s key events and people, making it very evocative and intriguing. We at … recommend this book to anyone – not only someone in business – who wants to learn about Wall Street’s history. It would make a great gift for anyone who works in the financial industry or for a young person who is interested in how money works.

  • Ariq Huda says:

    Review by Ariq Huda for 100 Years of Wall Street
    100 Years of Wall Street is one of the greatest books ever written. Its in depth analysis of the history of Wall Street is remarkable. It is an essential to anyone that is learning more about investments, yet it is still quite enjoyable without knowing anything about the subject. This is truly a remarkable read, and I would recommend it with my eyes closed and my hands tied behind my back!

  • Jeffrey Morseburg says:

    Review by Jeffrey Morseburg for 100 Years of Wall Street
    100 Years of Wall Street is a beautiful decade-by-decade look at the history of “the street.” Written by the well-known business author Charles R. Geisst, it is a sumptuous black-and-white exploration of Wall Street history. This may be best thought of as a companion volume to his other book (Wall Street: A History) as while that book concentrated on the characters, colorful and despicable, who created the financial world of today, the narrative in this book is a brief overview of the trends that occurred across a century, accompanied by a series of well-chosen photos. There are a number of charts that supplement the well-written narrative. If you know anyone with a deep interest in the financial markets, that engine of American commerce, this will make an ideal gift.

    Jeffrey Morseburg

  • rodog63jr says:

    Review by rodog63jr for 100 Years of Wall Street
    I enjoyed looking at the pictures and reading the headlines. Very educational and informative.

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