Baker, who has had a successful career in corporate finance, presents an innovative look into the Great Recession of 2008. His interest in the Stock Exchange started when he was a fifth grader and his father taught him how to read the Wall Street Journal. In 2006, he started the mentorship program New York Shock Exchange, designed to share his passion for investing and basketball with his 11-year-old son and other boys his age. The group began identifying key elements that signaled a downturn in the economy, like housing starts and auto sales. Considering the turn of events in 2008, their insight proved spot-on. His discussion of the recession covers aspects of mortgage defaults, government bailout programs, the fall of Lehman Bros. and AIG, and suggestions for how to avoid the same mistakes. (Copious notes and bibliography provide further reference.) Baker also explores the African American experience from an economic perspective by telling the story of his early life in Farmville, VA. VERDICT An intriguing work meant for those seeking an introduction to the causes of recessions and problems of the economy today. Also recommended for those who teach and study business. --Library Journal - Lucy Heckman, St. John's Univ. Lib., NY --Library Journal, March 1, 2013
As wall street spiraled out of control ... many people simply stated that people saw this coming. Shock Exchange: How Inner-City Kids From Brooklyn Predicted the Great Recession and the Pain Ahead discusses how there were many who saw the 2008 Financial calamity in the distance, and how author Ralph Baker and his associates knew it was coming ... and how their message was only heard by deaf ears. An enticing look at the warning signs of crisis, Shock Exchange is a must for collections looking for memoirs focusing on the financial world. --Midwest Book Review --Midwest Book Review, April 2013Great book!
- Ken Townsend, Elliott Professor of Economics, Hampden-Sydney College
I enjoyed Shock Exchange very much. Ralph Baker explained the financial crisis well and with a very logical flow. It is amazing when you read a book on a subject that you have a working knowledge of and you can pick up small details from the writer’s point of view. I thank Baker for allowing his writing to merge with my thoughts. Shock Exchange could be a good source for supplemental material in lower division college finance or economics classes. -- Raymar Rodriguez, Adjunct Professor Miami Dade College --- March, 2014
Baker shares insights into why understanding investing and the stock market is important for parents to emphasize sooner than later; how he connected investing/saving to basketball through the team, and financial advice for teens transitioning to college. The stories about his family and growing up are both humorous and insightful. And he tells it like he sees it when it comes to the ins and outs, ups and downs, do-gooders and no good-doers in the financial industry and how all of these affect you and me. --- The Positive Community, April 2014
Shock Exchange presents an important opportunity for readers, especially those from urban and inner-city backgrounds, to understand the economy in simpler terms. The book is also great for college students, as Baker focuses on how to advise teens transitioning to college, since many of the Shock Exchange members recently began their freshmen year. --- Maurika Smutherman, The News Argus, March 2014"A good piece of work" - National Book Awards
About the Author
Mr. Baker received his B.A. in economics from Hampden-Sydney College (1989) and his MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (1993). He has over 15 years of experience in corporate finance and mergers & acquisitions. Mr. Baker is currently the Executive Director of the New York Shock Exchange, a financial literacy program based in Brooklyn, NY that teaches kids competitive basketball skills and the fundamentals of investing. Mr. Baker, who was also small college All-American in basketball, has one son, Ralph W. Baker III, and resides in Brooklyn, NY.