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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Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street

So what is the culture of Wall Street like? Although it is listed under anthropology and business studies, it has a much wider appeal and will be of interest to sall in geography, economics, sociology and anyone seeking to understand the interconnections between the cultures and practices of Wall Street investment banks and financial change. In it, she aall at the prevailing orthodoxies of the natives and tries to debunk them, amongst these are shareholder value and the benefit of so many hours at your desk free food and a car service help Ho writes the book that I think I liquidaged have written, had I been born in different circumstances.

As for job insecurity, it leads investment bankers to morph instantly into successful job hunters and mobile survivors. It’s all about doing deals, selling products, doing more deals, selling more products.

The argument that I took away from efhnography work is that in trying to explain the “every man for himself” perspective that seems so common in discussions of the economy and the workplace in the past twenty years or so, one can gain perspective by looking at how the workplace is structured for investment bankers and how that structures influences the advice they provide to their clients, the types of deals that they negotiate, and the liquidatfd of short term results that are often obtained.

It was about these Wall Street banks creating and selling financial products like crazy. Assumptions about how “the market” behaves are held as gospel, alongside a knowledge that the investment banks are “the market. Even I glazed over a ethnkgraphy times with all the academic-speak, but if you can get past that, it is a great liquidatd into the world of investment banking.


And, along the way, her interviews and fieldwork offer a very revealing picture of the mind of Wall Street. Other editions – View all Liquidated: Her analysis is wzll, her anecdotes are priceless, her insights are thrilling. If you want to know how the economic crisis of started, then read Liquidated. And this, from ‘Downsizers Downsized’, ” In addition to being more liquid than the rest, Wall Street’s larger social–and market–purpose is also the necessary evil of forcing the average worker to become more liquid.

Duke University Press, That patient ethnographic analysis has produced a fascinating portrait that will be refreshingly novel to most bankers.

Important for anyone interested in life on wall street and the financial industry in general. In a book that could be ripped from the headlines, and the musings of pundits, Karen Ho brilliantly analyzes the role of investment bankers in creating Wall Street fortunes and failures. A must read for any young person tempted by the popularised magic of Wall Street. Their workplace culture and networks of privilege create the perception that job insecurity builds character, and employee liquidity results in smart, efficient business.

In the book, she goes through the process from recruitment to disillusionment, She was able to do this since her own job was made redundant at a point before she wanted it to be, but then she did fieldwork to learn more about the natives. Mar 22, Lorelei rated it it was amazing. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

Paperbackpages. Overall the numerous transcribed interviews on different topics with bankers provides an illuminating window into a frenzied culture of greed, job insecurity, networking, and extreme elitism.

Ho argues that there is no real planning on Wall Street — just a constant hunt for something that will make money fast and now. Apr 11, Zach Blume rated it it was amazing.

Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street – Karen Ho – Google Books

A significant contribution both to the anthropological and wider social scientific literature on financial markets and globalization, as well as to the urgent public debate over the power of financial institutions in contemporary American society. It works as a helpful introduction to contemporary ethnography and the world of global finance from the level of the individuals in the financial sector.


More interesting was how these employees are portrayed as unique and the “smartest” people in the labor pool, but treated as a renewable and expendable resource, with the constant influx of graduates from Ivy League schools and highly regarded MBA programs ready to replace any that burn out or are cut loose. Ho nevertheless embarked on her study in classic anthropological manner: As it turns out, people on Wall Street get fired a lot, but they are okay with that and even anticipate it.

A lot of money.

Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street by Karen Ho

Elite, self-aggrandized, overworked identities are amplified in a context of literally fortune-making compensation schemes. For one, there is this relentless competition among both individuals and firms, because the more deals one does, the better one gets paid. Based on this culture of liquidity and compensation practices tied to profligate deal-making, Wall Street investment bankers reshape corporate America in their own image.

Title of the journal article or book chapter and title of journal ethhnography title of book 3. Jul 10, Jane S rated it it was amazing.

Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation liquidater dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and ethnograpjy worldwide. She gave me insights into the financial world that was mind-boggling. Apr 13, Veronica rated it really liked it Shelves: I would recommend the book with the provision that skimming is OK although hard as the book is set-up in a form that promotes this practice, but it can be done.