Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Tales from the Boom-Boom Room: Women vs. Wall Street
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars7
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on November 8, 2003
I was a successful broker for many years in one of Smith Barney's largest offices in the nation, and I can personally attest that the events depicted in this book, while shocking, are not exaggerations.
I would have appreciated if Antilla had consulted with some Constitutional law experts. She should have noted that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld mandatory arbitration shortly after Judge Motley upheld it in this particular lawsuit.
Antilla captures the culture of Shearson Lehman Bros. and Smith Barney with uncanny accuracy. Any investor -- male or female -- should read this book to understand some of the ways that the Wall Street good old boys network circles the wagons to protect their own.
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Susan Antilla presents a powerful and startling indictment of the sexist behavior of stock brokers working for Wall Street and its offshoots, specifically Smith Barney's Shearson/American Express office in Garden City, Long Island. Women struggled to be hired, and then found that the men in charge of their careers practiced all sorts of sexual harassment and intimidation, from jokes to displays of sexual prowess, physical contact and threats of rape. As she describes, the bosses sought to bar women or trap them in low positions. While painting the broader picture, Antilla focuses on whistle blower, Pam Martens, who revealed the situation when she sued for damages. This skillfully written book reads like a fascinating novel, so graphic and dramatic that it is more like a screenplay than a report. We believe it will draw intense interest from everyone affected by this issue: female executives who face glass ceilings and harassment, male executives who must determine their own philosophies toward their female colleagues and human resource professionals who are charged with watching out for them both.
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VINE VOICEon March 16, 2003
I'm a principal at an investment-banking firm although not a stockbroker so reading this book was a good exercise in reviewing the risks at our firm. The coverage in this book is exceptional. As discussed, investment-banking firms are ripe with potential for sexual discrimination. Partly because so many areas work on trading floors which breed a fraternity type atmosphere, partly because stock brokers tend to be fraternity/salesmen type guys, and partly because this environment has assistants, many who are women, working in close contact with these who sometimes consider themselves "masters of the universe." Confidence/cockiness is never in short supply at an investment banking firm's trading floor.
The first part of the book lays out the environment where sexual discrimination was prevalent. It's so clearly offensive that it's amazing there wasn't a larger settlement in this case. But this is where the book greatly details the unique twist in the case. The protagonist goes through two lawyers and watches as her lawyer and the opposing lawyer seem to become more in agreement than her and her lawyer. Eventually she's dropped from the settlement even though her name still appears on the class action suit. So while I thought I was a reading a sexual discrimination, the book turned into attorney/client relationships and attorney greed in class action cases.
Do I think the attorneys became more concerned about their large fee than their client? Yes. Do I think the original client could be difficult to deal with? Yes. But the outcome is tragic and no one got what he or she deserved. Justice was not monetarily served for the defendants in my opinion. I strongly recommend this book if you have interest in investment banking, law or women's issues.
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Susan Antilla presents a powerful and startling indictment of the sexist behavior of stock brokers working for Wall Street and its offshoots, specifically Smith Barney's Shearson/American Express office in Garden City, Long Island. Women struggled to be hired, and then found that the men in charge of their careers practiced all sorts of sexual harassment and intimidation, from jokes to displays of sexual prowess, physical contact and threats of rape. As she describes, the bosses sought to bar women or trap them in low positions. While painting the broader picture, Antilla focuses on whistle blower, Pam Martens, who revealed the situation when she sued for damages. This skillfully written book reads like a fascinating novel, so graphic and dramatic that it is more like a screenplay than a report. We from getAbstract believe it will draw intense interest from everyone affected by this issue: female executives who face glass ceilings and harassment, male executives who must determine their own philosophies toward their female colleagues and human resource professionals who are charged with watching out for them both.
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on February 14, 2003
Antilla's narrative is very well-written, offering chilling stories of incredible misbehavior in the investment world. The boy's club attitude made it very difficult for women to operate or succeed in the brokerage business. There is evidence that this type of behavior has been greatly reduced, yet much of what has happened remains an industry guarded secret.
There may be too many details for some readers, but this well-documented, unsettling book tells the story in a manner that makes the book a page turner.
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on January 7, 2003
The in-depth coverage of the sex scandal of Smith Barney is well written by Susan Antilla. It is a common place in Japan that women go to work, being sexually harassed, every day in the offices, ladies room and conference rooms. But this is USA, it is rare! These Smith Barney brokers must have learned from Japan. To level the playing field, positive role models like Abby Cohen and Muriel Siebert are needed in this industry.
As a Professor and a Management Consultant, I always encourage young women to get into finance as a career. They can definitely benefit from reading this wonderful book.
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on September 18, 2008
Too bad Antilla doesn't have a clue that it is **humans**, en toto, that do evil, not just men. Typical shallow, reductionist thinking that passes muster simply because the politically correct world has no ability to distinguish between truth and error.

Hey, Ms. Antilla... I as a victim of the feminist oppressors in my own career, how about putting a few of my stories about insane, vile, bitter, nasty - and yes, SEXIST - women in your next book?

Nah, I didn't think you would...
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