Doug Henwood published a book called Wall Street in 1997. Published by Verso it is now out of print. Of course there are used copies at Amazon. Something perhaps went awry with Amazon pricing and for a short while Wall Street was priced as if a rare book!
Doug Henwood who edits the Left Business Observer published Wall Street in hardcover in 1997 and in paperback in 1998. The publisher Verso chose not to reprint the book and so when stock was all sold the rights reverted to Henwood in March of 2005.
Henwood chose to make Wall Street available for download free--although he will not turn down donations! The download site is here.
Used copies of the book are offered on Amazon. As this screenshot shows a copy was on offer the other day for just under one thousand dollars. Usually copies can be obtained for well under one hundred dollars. I checked just recently and all were under one hundred even a hard copy. While someone may actually have been asking nearly one thousand, there have been pricing problems from time to time at Amazon.
There is a review of Henwood's book at this site. by Justin Fox. Fox is editorial director of the Harvard Business Review group. He also authored a book that has many of the same themes and is similar in some ways to Henwood's book called The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk Reward and Delusion on Wall Street.
Fox notes that Henwood's book published far back in 1997 set out many criticisms that have been made against Wall Street since 2008. Henwood talked about such taboo matters as the link between the growth of the financial sector and the growth in income inequality. He talked also of financial markets tending to be naturally unstable rather than tending towards stability.
Henwood noted through analysis that shareholders in the aggregate take more money from U.S. corporations than they invest. Actually I do not find that surprising. After all why would shareholders put money into companies except to get more money out. However, I suppose the point Henwood is making is that people who purchase shares and provide the capital for companies rather than reinvesting all that money simply consume more than they put back in. If as Henwood suggests workers ran corporations other stakeholders would benefit rather than being exploited to enhance shareholders take from their investments.
Fox points out that Henwood was criticizing Wall Street at a time when mainstream analysts tended to lavish praise on Wall Street dominated by share-holders. No one much listened to Henwood then. The book soon went out of print but Fox suggests the book is very much worth reading. So take your choice. Download it for free or perhaps the price has dwindled to a dollar on Amazon.
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