Liquidated has ratings and 43 reviews. BlackOxford said: Against ExcellenceIf you want to understand the source and the consequences of the rhetori. Book Reviews Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street. Karen Ho. Durham, NC : Duke University Press, pp. $, paper. Karen Ho is a member of. In Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street, Karen Ho introduces us to the culture of smartness on Wall Street—its perpetuation, its sustainability.

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There were a number of excerpts attributed “Fraser, ” that seemed more artfully constructed, so I expect to read his Wall Street: One is industry recruitment practice. In a fashion that defies belief, these bankers are not penalized for “failed” deals, and indeed, the ethnograaphy of a failed deal seems not to enter into the lexicon of these financial market manipulators.

No trivia or quizzes yet. Financial collapses—whether of the junk bond market, the Internet bubble, or the highly leveraged housing market—are often explained as the inevitable result of market cycles: These are t Against Excellence If you want to understand the source and the consequences of the rhetoric of modern finance, this is your efhnography.

More troubling though, is how the i-banks led corporate America to conglomeration in the 60’s only to cull them in an orgy zn asset stripping and downsizing two decades later. Yet for all the value these people think they are adding to the economy, it seems to me they are not only parasites, but they are also destroying the good old-fashioned values of loyalty and the idea that there are other things in life besides money and the tyranny of the market.

The first chapter on recruiting practices at universities is the most readable while the 3rd and 4th chapters on the rise of shareholder value in the 80s are the most dry, but provided the most new information for me.

Very well documented and provocative read! A central irony for Ho is that while investment bankers and other market players are driven by an ideology of shareholder value—that is, they believe that their advice is guided by their streef to maximize value for stockholders—in fact, the actions they recommend to corporate leaders, [End Page ] such as merging, acquiring, laying off workers, and selling off units, rarely increase shareholder value more than momentarily.


Her narrative starts with the innocent and everyday: Exploitation, Empowerment, and the Politics of Hard Work 73 3. This is an ethnography of Wall Street behavior in investment banking firms done by a Princeton grad who is currently an assistant professor of Anthropology at Minnesota. For example in the area of how the banks are specific in recruiting the best and the brightest, primarily from Princeton and Havard, after making the point effective it steeet to be supported with anecdotal accounts leaving me with the repeating the famous movie line So what is sttreet culture of Wall Street like?

Liquidated | Duke University Press

The actual health and productivity of a corporate client is at best a secondary concern for banks, as their incentives are fees made from coordinating as many deals good, bad or indifferent as possible.

I do plan to follow up with her, though, and find out more because I feel certain that her theories are something that individuals both inside and outside of finance should familiarize themselves with, reflecting on the way that our culture has changed and consciously deciding where it is we want to go from here.

Anthropology Goes to Wall Street 1 1. America’s Dream Palace in the near future in hopes it might be better suited as a recommendation for others. It’s all about doing deals, selling products, doing more deals, selling more products. No matter how you read it, it’s unlikely you’ll ever again see financial capitalism purely through the lens of those self-congratulatory, pre adverts promoting Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Charles Schwab, et al. I highly recommend it, especially if you have no idea how the world of high finance operates.


Especially when she belabors the point about how Wall Streeters see themselves as “smart” without really challenging what that means and especially without challenging what “elite” means in terms of higher education and how that often is just a proxy for class-based access, I wanted to put the book down.

The language is a bit stilted, but once you get used street it, she has a number of insights. By connecting the values and actions of investment bankers to the construction of markets and the restructuring of U. Marxists, financiers, anarchists, sceptics. The intelligence of its author shines through Liquidated.

The costs in terms of relationships like family and even the most liberal interpretation of personal integrity are enormous but simply inexpressible in the culture. But I’m glad I kept reading, because it deserves 5 stars for its contribution to the field. I found it rewarding to read and reflect on, a landmark in the burgeoning anthropology of money. Return to Book Page.

Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street

The term means—if anything: Jan 08, Fluffy Singler rated it it was amazing Shelves: The main takeaway for me, and one which I had not given particular thought to, is that when we appeal to abstract, globalizing forces of capitalism, we in a sense cede to them a kind of inevitable power, as if they were an invisible hand. If book has an editor that is different from the article author, include editor’s name also.

A must read for any young person tempted by the popularised magic of Wall Street. Tosi and Jennifer M. An Ethnography of Wall Street asks many questions that those who work in the investment field should ask themselves.

Bankers from firms such as Goldman Sachs, J.