This is an ambitious, fascinating tale peopled with infamous confidence men, cold-hearted fraudsters, and ruined speculators, through whose eyes Fraser tells virtually an alternative history of America. The 721-page book starts with William Duer, the country's original market swindler, who manipulated government bonds after the Revolution and died in debtors' prison. Duer's frauds left a deep suspicion of Wall Street among many of America's Founding Fathers and the general public. That suspicion only intensified, Fraser writes, after the panic of 1873, which Mark Twain satirized in his novel The Gilded Age, and the 1929 crash, after which Wall Street came under public supervision for the first time. After World War II, the Street staged a remarkable turnaround, as its "wise men" became key figures behind the Marshall Plan, NATO, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. Today, despite the dot-com crash and corporate-fraud scandals, Fraser writes that Wall Street has still managed to retain a positive image in America's new "shareholder society." But he concludes on a dark tone expressing concerns about "gathering thunderclouds of world economic disturbance." He warns that any future market crash could plunge the Street back into disgrace while also reviving the political extremism and fascism of the 1930s. Fraser's elegantly written book manages to be both entertaining and thought-provoking. --Alex Roslin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The author has done an excellent job showing the inevitable negative impacts that result from speculative behavior. Read morePublished on January 15, 2009 by Michael Emmett Brady
Regrettably one of the more unreadable tomes about Wall Street, "Every Man A Speculator" comes up as dry as a professor's rambling essay, as unyielding as a sermon, but with... Read morePublished on December 28, 2005 by Don Spano
Every once in a while I come across a book that begs the question: why was this book ever written? Steve Fraser's "Every Man A Speculator" is one such book. Read morePublished on August 21, 2005 by Myles Kesten