When Wall Street Met Main Street

When Wall Street Met Main Street

The Quest for An Investors' Democracy

eBook - 2011
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The financial crisis that began in 2008 has made Americans keenly aware of the enormous impact Wall Street has on the economic well-being of the nation and its citizenry. How did financial markets and institutions—commonly perceived as marginal and elitist at the beginning of the twentieth century—come to be seen as the bedrock of American capitalism? How did stock investment—once considered disreputable and dangerous—first become a mass practice?Julia Ott tells the story of how, between the rise of giant industrial corporations and the Crash of 1929, the federal government, corporations, and financial institutions campaigned to universalize investment, with the goal of providing individual investors with a stake in the economy and the nation. As these distributors of stocks and bonds established a broad, national market for financial securities, they debated the distribution of economic power, the proper role of government, and the meaning of citizenship under modern capitalism.By 1929, the incidence of stock ownership had risen to engulf one quarter of American households in the looming financial disaster. Accordingly, the federal government assumed responsibility for protecting citizen-investors by regulating the financial securities markets. By recovering the forgotten history of this initial phase of mass investment and the issues surrounding it, Ott enriches and enlightens contemporary debates over economic reform.
The financial crisis of 2008 made Americans keenly aware of the impact Wall Street has on the economic well-being of the nation and its citizenry. Ott shows how the government, corporations, and financial institutions transformed stock investment from an elite to a mass practice at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2011
ISBN: 9780674061217
0674061217
0674050657
9780674050655
Characteristics: 1 online resource (313 pages) : illustrations, maps

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