Wall Street

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How It Works and for Whom


Paperback originally published in 1998 by Verso (New York & London). Published on the web by Doug Henwood in 2005 under a Creative Commons license. See copyright page for further details. Aside from the change in copyright, everything else is exactly as in the paperback edition.

First published by Verso 1997 This paperback edition 1998

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The credit system, which has its focal point in the allegedly national banks and the big money-lenders and usurers that surround them, is one enormous centralization and gives this class of parasites a fabulous power not only to decimate the industrial capitalists periodically but also to interfere in actual production in the most dangerous manner— and this crew know nothing of production and have nothing at all to do with it. — Marx, Capital, vol. 3, chap. 33

I’m not a parasite. I’m an investor. — Lyonya Gulubkov, described by the New York Times as “a bumbling Russian Everyman” responding to “Soviet-style” taunts in an ad for the fraudulent MMM investment scheme which collapsed in 1994


Acknowledgments Introduction 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Instruments Players Ensemble Market models Renegades Governance What is (not) to be done? Appendix Bibliography Index

ix 1 10 56 118 137 187 246 301 323 333 357


Though one name usually appears on the cover, a book is a far more collaborative project than that. I’ve enjoyed splendid research assistance from (in chronological order)...