cover image What Goes Up: The Uncensored History of Modern Wall Street

What Goes Up: The Uncensored History of Modern Wall Street

Eric J. Weiner, . . Little, Brown, $27.95 (503pp) ISBN 978-0-316-92966-0

A 50-year veteran of the financial business says, "If you ever want to get a job on Wall Street, here are the magic words: I can make you money." Not quite "Greed is good," but a typically honest, clear-eyed quote from this illuminating oral history of the stock market. Weiner, a former Dow Jones journalist, provides an insider's perspective on Wall Street through interviews with financial superstars like Charles Schwab, Peter Lynch and dozens of others. He begins in the 1930s and '40s, when each brokerage firm was like a "secret society" in which diversity meant hiring a Dartmouth grad instead of men from Harvard, Yale or Princeton. He ends with 9/11, when the market closed for the longest stretch since the Great Depression. In between, Weiner digs for what financiers really thought about Wall Street's biggest stories. He finds surprising sympathy for "junk bond king" Michael Milken; envious appreciation for the record-breaking profits of Warren Buffett's investment company ("the guy never had a down year"); and some genuine antipathy for the financial media, which "led a lot of investors like lambs to the slaughter" during the tech bubble. For those in the industry—and perhaps those with a stake in the stock market, too—Weiner's book is a sharp, informative history from the people who shaped Wall Street's bottom line. Photos. Agent, Andrew Wylie. (Sept. 15)