The Speculation Economy: How Finance Triumphed Over Industry (BK Currents)

Mitchell, Lawrence E
ISBN:
9781576754009

American businesses today are obsessed with the price of their stock, and no wonder. The consequences of even a modest decrease can be so dire that some executives would rather damage their corporation's long-term health than allow quarterly returns to fall below projections. But how did this situation come about? When did the stock market become the driver of the American economy? Lawrence E. Mitchell identifies the moment in American history when finance triumphed over industry. He shows how the birth of the giant modern corporation spurred the rise of the stock market and how, by the dawn of the 1920s, the stock market left behind its business origins to become the very reason for the creation of business itself. Book News Annotation: American industry once focused on providing the best goods and services, but today, business success is measured almost exclusively by the price of a company's stock, forcing executives to keep the share price as high as possible and leading to neglect of long-term strategic planning. Mitchell (business law, The George Washington University) explains when, how, and why the stock market became the driving force of the American economy. Starting in the first decade of the 20th century, he tells the story of the legal, financial, economic, and social changes that allowed financiers to create large corporations for the main purpose of manufacturing stock and dumping it on the market. He shows how the federal government, wedded to an outdated economic model, failed to regulate finance and thus missed the chance to control corporations. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com) Synopsis: As the 20th century dawned there was a silent but fateful transformation in the purpose of the American economy. Finance stopped serving industry and twisted industry to serve its own ends. THE SPECULATION ECONOMY shows this reversal of economic priorities, and its sometimes-disastrous consequences, demonstrated most recently by Enron.

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