LIQUIDATED AN ETHNOGRAPHY OF WALL STREET PDF

In Liquidated, Karen Ho punctures the aura of the abstract, all-powerful market to show how financial markets, and particularly booms and busts, are constructed. Through an in-depth investigation into the everyday experiences and ideologies of Wall Street investment bankers, Ho describes how a financially dominant but highly unstable market system is understood, justified, and produced through the restructuring of corporations and the larger economy. Her ethnographic analysis of those workplaces is filled with the voices of stressed first-year associates, overworked and alienated analysts, undergraduates eager to be hired, and seasoned managing directors. They are paid handsomely, with the understanding that they may be let go at any time. Their workplace culture and networks of privilege create the perception that job insecurity builds character, and employee liquidity results in smart, efficient business.

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In Liquidated, Karen Ho punctures the aura of the abstract, all-powerful market to show how financial markets, and particularly booms and busts, are constructed. Through an in-depth investigation into the everyday experiences and ideologies of Wall Street investment bankers, Ho describes how a financially dominant but highly unstable market system is understood, justified, and produced through the restructuring of corporations and the larger economy.

Her ethnographic analysis of those workplaces is filled with the voices of stressed first-year associates, overworked and alienated analysts, undergraduates eager to be hired, and seasoned managing directors. They are paid handsomely, with the understanding that they may be let go at any time. Their workplace culture and networks of privilege create the perception that job insecurity builds character, and employee liquidity results in smart, efficient business.

Based on this culture of liquidity and compensation practices tied to profligate deal-making, Wall Street investment bankers reshape corporate America in their own image. Their mission is the creation of shareholder value, but Ho demonstrates that their practices and assumptions often produce crises instead.

By connecting the values and actions of investment bankers to the construction of markets and the restructuring of U. Is constant change at investment banks wrong? Or is it an intelligent way of operating in a competitive, rapidly changing global business? Wall Street firms that succeed over the long run are adept at quickly shutting down business units that prove to be nonstrategic and starting new ones.

As for job insecurity, it leads investment bankers to morph instantly into successful job hunters and mobile survivors. Mangano and Martin S. Ho gets to the heart of the market makers who have reconfigured the American economy with often disastrous consequences. This analysis, based on an extensive amount of rich and revealing interview data, will help anyone understand the current financial crisis including the subprime mortgage debacle and the staggering bonuses which continue unabated, even though intense negative light has been directed at them.

It also, however, indicates the reverse of the strength of the social studies of finance. Liquidated is a valuable contribution as an ethnography. I have used excerpts in an undergraduate economic sociology course, and I have recommended it to an investment banker. Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street asks many questions that those who work in the investment field should ask themselves.

This book is a milestone of an increasingly sophisticated and relevant anthropology of markets and it constitutes crucial reading for both undergraduate and post-graduate students. And she examines the myth that stockowners and companies are best served by maximizing shareholder profits. If anything, this book gives faces to the people who work in that abstract entity called Wall Street that seems to affect our world so much of late. I highly recommend it, especially if you have no idea how the world of high finance operates.

The book is, moreover, extremely well written throughout. The greatest benefits, though redound to scholars of financial markets and the institutions that make them in accounting, finance, and economics, who will find a thick , rich description of the context of investment banking.

Tosi and Jennifer M. Although it is listed under anthropology and business studies, it has a much wider appeal and will be of interest to those in geography, economics, sociology and anyone seeking to understand the interconnections between the cultures and practices of Wall Street investment banks and financial change. Actually, even faculty of our elite schools are starting to question why so many of their graduates end up in finance. The intelligence of its author shines through Liquidated. I found it rewarding to read and reflect on, a landmark in the burgeoning anthropology of money.

She connects well the main theme throughout any areas of the book. This book should be read by Wall Street investment bankers and corporate managers to better understand the social values and responsibilities of corporations and the role that they play in the American community.

As field-sites go, Wall Street is not classic anthropological territory: ethnographers typically work in remote, third-world societies. That patient ethnographic analysis has produced a fascinating portrait that will be refreshingly novel to most bankers.

Her ethnography of investment bankers in the late s, Liquidated, depicts the bravado, callousness, and contradictions that are the hallmarks of investment banking culture. With Liquidated, Karen Ho takes us into the workaday world of investment banking before the crisis, showing us the roots of the risk-taking that drew lavish compensation packages and brought the world financial system to the brink of collapse.

A significant contribution both to the anthropological and wider social scientific literature on financial markets and globalization, as well as to the urgent public debate over the power of financial institutions in contemporary American society. Using the best kinds of cultural and social analysis, Karen Ho gets inside Wall Street assumptions, turning them around to upend each other.

And, along the way, her interviews and fieldwork offer a very revealing picture of the mind of Wall Street. A fascinating and important book.

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Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street

It was a bit redundant and dry as are most academic books , but I did get a really good sense of what it was like to be working in a Wall Street bank, and it was definitely worth it for that. So what is the culture of Wall Street like? First of, there is this intense culture of smartness, of all these people who went to the best schools and think they are just about the smartest people in the world. That is how the banks sell themselves when they recruit -- the places where the smartest people work. Then there is this culture of working super-hard, all the time, which goes along with the hyper-competitive attitudes of the people who want to work there.

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Liquidated

It may not be redistributed or altered. All rights reserved. ISBN electronic: Publication date: 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: What goes up must come down. In Liquidated, Karen Ho punctures the aura of the abstract, all-powerful market to show how financial markets, and particularly booms and busts, are constructed. Through an in-depth investigation into the everyday experiences and ideologies of Wall Street investment bankers, Ho describes how a financially dominant but highly unstable market system is understood, justified, and produced through the restructuring of corporations and the larger economy.

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