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100 Years of Wall Street

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100 Years of Wall Street


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

A century of bulls, bears, booms, busts, and even bucket shops: a visual and verbal journey down the street that (they say) is paved with gold.

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Editorial Rating



  • Eye Opening
  • Background
  • Engaging


Charles R. Geisst’s enjoyable book chronicles Wall Street in the 20th century. He effectively captures the feel of the various boom and bust periods. The clear, informative text is supplemented with incredible black and white photographs of each period’s key events and people, making it very evocative and intriguing. getAbstract recommends this book to anyone – not only someone in business – who wants to learn about Wall Street’s history. It would make a great gift for anyone who works in the financial industry or for a young person who is interested in how money works.


1900-1920 At the start of the twentieth century, the United States and Wall Street were optimistic. The country was emerging as a world leader in manufacturing, farming, and technological innovation. The Republican president, William McKinley, was sympathetic to big business. Following his assassination, Teddy Roosevelt assumed the presidency. Big mergers were taking place in the financial sectors. J.P. Morgan purchased Carnegie Steel from its founder and merged it with other companies to form U.S. Steel. The acquisition price, $500 million, stunned Wall Street. Morgan established American Telephone & Telegraph, the Northern Securities Company, and International Harvester. These enormous mergers set the tone for the rest of the twentieth century.

While mergers represented the high end of Wall Street activity, small investors were subject to the play of the "Bulls and Bears." Bulls were depicted as investors who would drive up the price of stocks; bears were depicted as investors who would drive them down. Fights between bull and bear investors often set off panics that particularly hurt small investors. Two major stock market panics occurred during this period. The first...

About the Author

Charles R. Geisst’s previous book, Wall Street: A History, was a New York Times Business Bestseller in 1977. It was a selection of the History Book Club and the Book-of-the Month Club International. Geisst, formerly a capital markets analyst and investment banker in London, is also an experienced financial consultant for banks. The author of eleven other books, he has also published widely in professional journals and news magazines.

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