Why Wall Street Matters by William D. Cohan

The Blurb On The Back:

”This is my effort to pry open the black box that Wall Street has carefully constructed around itself in the last generation, much to its detriment.  It’s a black box that makes it almost impossible for the average American to understand what goes on there, why it is important to nearly everything we hold dear, and why we wouldn’t much like to live in a world without Wall Street.”

If you like your smartphone or your widescreen TV, your car or your pension, then, whether you know it or not, you are a fan of Wall Street.

William D. Cohan, bestselling author of House of Cards, has long been critical of the bad behaviour that plagued much of Wall Street in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, and, as an ex-banker, he is an expert on its inner workings as well.  But in recent years he has become alarmed by the vitriol directed at the bankers, traders and executives who keep the wheels of our economy turning.  Why Wall Street Matters is a timely and trenchant reminder of the actual good these institutions do and the dire consequences for us all if the essential role they play in making our lives better is carelessly curtailed.

In a brisk, non-nonsense narrative, Cohan traces the history of Wall Street from a handful of traders on a cobblestone street in downtown Manhattan to the global financial behemoth it is today.  Along the way, he argues that Wall Street and the big banks, with their important interstitial role between those who have capital and those who need it, are the invisible, albeit flawed, engines that power our ideas.  Instead of denigrated, they should be celebrated and made to work better for us.

Maybe you think the banks should be broken up and the bankers held accountable for what happened in 2008.  Maybe you hate the greed of Wall Street but know that it’s important to the world economy.  Maybe you don’t really understand Wall Street, and phrases such as credit default swap make your eyes glaze over.  Maybe you think President Trump is America’s saviour or believe that he will destroy everything.

Whoever you are, whatever you think, the blunt, brief and utterly accessible Why Wall Street Matters will be your beacon through the fog.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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