The Fortune Tellers: Inside Wall Street's Game of Money, Media, and Manipulation

Howard Kurtz, Author
Howard Kurtz, Author Free Press $26 (352p) ISBN 978-0-684-86879-0
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7435-1009-7
Compact Disc - 978-0-7435-1010-3
Hardcover - 525 pages - 978-0-7838-9374-7
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-684-86880-6
Book - 978-0-7435-1962-5
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The growing accessibility of the Internet and of cable television have made financial information more available to more people than ever before. As Americans increasingly invest in the stock market, journalists who cover Wall Street have gained a celebrity status once reserved for network anchormen. As Washington Post media reporter Kurtz deftly shows in this incisive expos , the hosts of financial shows on such networks as CNN and CNBC, as well as certain online and print reporters, can ""move markets"" the way only analysts were able to do in years past. This trend has led to a growing interdependence between journalists, brokers and analysts. Kurtz (Spin Cycle) makes good on his unparalleled access to many of the major players, who come across as professional and thoughtful, though they sometimes get carried away by events they can't control and often find themselves caught in conflicts of interest. Jim Cramer is one of Kurtz's prime examples: founder of the financial Web site TheStreet.com as well as the manager of a $300-million hedge fund, he frequently writes about companies whose stocks he owns. But Cramer is far from the only one on Wall Street touting companies in which he has an interest. While Kurtz concludes with the predictable observation that Wall Street is a crazy, greedy, morally ambiguous place, his first-rate analysis of the interplay between the media and American financial institutions more than justifies the point. (Sept.)
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