Liquidated has ratings and 43 reviews. BlackOxford said: Against ExcellenceIf you want to understand the source and the consequences of the rhetori. Book Reviews Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street. Karen Ho. Durham, NC : Duke University Press, pp. $, paper. Karen Ho is a member of. In Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street, Karen Ho introduces us to the culture of smartness on Wall Street—its perpetuation, its sustainability.

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But it might help a little in seeing how these economic realities developed since the early s. Important for anyone interested in life on wall street and the financial industry in general.

A valuable addition to the annals of ethnographic research and highly recommended. Loyalty is at best a conditional virtue.

Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street

Reminds me of the discovery I had back in college, that people will tell you that you’re smart or have “so much potential” to get you to work harder, with the academic system being a pyramid scheme built on the labor of students. Her ethnography of investment bankers in the late s, Liquidateddepicts the bravado, callousness, and contradictions that are the hallmarks of investment banking culture.

The title “Liquidated” comes from this almost messianic Wall Street cult of turning all assets “liquid” — even the people who work at these firms.

While the topic is deeply interesting and this is a relatively accessible work for a layperson, it’s also very dry and longer than seems necessary clearly, academic work. As a reader not well-versed in anthropological terms and theories, I found some of the book confusing and therefore it was difficult to get through certain chapters. She gave me insights into the financial world that was mind-boggling. To supplement interview data, Ho attended industry conferences, formal and informal networking events and panel discussions, and analyzed scores of newspaper reports and business publications.

The history in this book was fascinating. The greatest benefits, though redound to scholars of financial markets and the institutions that make them in accounting, finance, and economics, who will find a thickrich description of the context of investment banking.


It describes, in part, the metamorphosis of the This book is a milestone of an increasingly sophisticated and relevant anthropology of markets and it constitutes crucial reading for both undergraduate and post-graduate students.

The first chapter on recruiting practices at universities is the most readable while the 3rd and 4th chapters on the liquivated of shareholder value in the 80s are the most dry, but provided the most new information for me. Mar 27, Graham rated it it was amazing.

Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street by Karen Ho

Like many sociologists, anthropologists, and some economists, Ho argues against an abstract, impersonal lf of markets that ignores the role of social relationships, values, and culture. It’s only for the “best”, the “brightest” and the slavishly hard-working. Although I enjoyed reading this ethnography, I was a bit skeptical of Ho’s theories due to her limited time working for Wall Street, the lack of clarity regarding her personal aspirations and reactions to being downsized, her seemingly small informant pool comprised mainly of friends or classmates who were also fairly new to Wall Street, ethnkgraphy her lack of hard numbers to back up theories of recruitment and discrimination.

The term means—if anything: What goes up must come down. Once recruited, bankers subscribe to a culture of overwork with one hundred hour work weeks the norm and competitive social relations. Marxists, financiers, anarchists, sceptics.

Their mission is the creation of shareholder value, but Ho demonstrates that their practices and assumptions often produce crises instead. The language is a bit stilted, but once you get used to it, she has a number of insights. She thinks this is because they are doubly marked as similar to the support staff and are taking pains to strwet themselves in dress and actions. Carrier, Streeh of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

I have used excerpts in an undergraduate economic sociology course, and I have recommended it to an investment banker. While it’s stree bit dense at times, the author is uniquely situated to gain access to otherwise elusive info. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. First, the mortgage-backed ethnogralhy and other collateralized debt obligations, then the credit default swaps to supposedly protect investors from downside risk.


Islamic Mortgages in the United States. But doing deals doesn’t mean doing deals that make sense. That patient ethnographic analysis has produced a fascinating portrait that will be refreshingly novel to most bankers. Your volume title, publication date, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought. I don’t know where lava lamps would fall on the liquidity scale, but ‘the Roots and Narratives of Shareholder Value’ definitely my favorite chapter.

This is a very closely written yet riveting ethnographic account life and work in the world of Wall St, and definitely counts in my book as a classic of the genre. One is industry recruitment practice.

Knippen, Administrative Science Quarterly. The view of shareholders as the real and only stakeholders of a corporation is also traced and explored, with reference to the decision in Dodge v Ford Motor Co providing a legal foundation on which much ideological lumber has been laid.

Mangano, Financial Analysts Journal. Look at investment banks and investment bankers this way will not explain everything or even most everything about the fragility of the economy, the increasing frequency of “jobless” recoveries, the continuing importance of “too big to fail” institutions, pressures for lowering tax rates on the wealthy, etc.

An interesting read on the culture of investment bank s,ers,ing and how the narrow field of backgrounds and ideologies feeds a cycle of behaviors seen alternately as being right or being the only possible actions.

Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Chase Manhattan, and Banker’s Trust and their part in restructuring corporate America provide empirical grist for her analytical mill.

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