Thursday, May 5, 2016

Twenty Years of Inside Life in Wall Street or Revelations of the Personal Experience of a Speculator

Conspiracies and Corners, Greenbacks and Gold, War and Peace, Bubbles and Bear Raids, Riches and Ruin, Margin Calls and Crashes, the Great Panic and the Great Depression

Wall Street ran red with the blood of suicides and murder. A lucky few survived and thrived, and of those, a tiny fraction had lasting influence.

This is the annotated edition of William Worthington Fowler's, Twenty Years of Inside Life in Wall Street or Revelations of the Personal Experience of a Speculator, his classic chronicle of the New York traded markets from 1860-1880, a period that spanned the Civil War, the post war bubble, worthless paper money, the Black Friday Gold Panic of 1869, the Great Panic of 1873, and the consequent first and worst seven year Great Depression. Fowler witnessed how U.S. government paper money replaced specie leading to bubbles, panics, and crashes. It is time to revisit Fowler’s classic. Our current crisis is much more similar to the crash of 1873 and the first Great Depression than the 1929 crash and Depression.

Fowler met the most influential financiers of the day including Jay Gould, James "Diamond Jim" Fisk, Jr., Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jacob Little, Daniel Drew, Leonard Jerome, Addison Jerome, David Groesbeck, and Henry Keep. Their fortunes rose and fell on margin, carry, and derivatives including puts, calls, and futures. They risked everything speculating in equities and a wide range of commodities including gold, silver, cotton, and more. Fowler’s tale entertains as he exposes the great corners, trading rings, conspiracies, bear twists, manipulations, and frauds.

About the annotated edition

The foreword and annotations by Janet M. Tavakoli draw parallels between the Panic of 1873 and Great Depression of 1873-1880 with the financial crisis of 2008 and the ongoing Great Recession. Edited to correct errors and inconsistencies in the original edition. Includes annotations with additional biographical and background material.

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