Wall street values: Business ethics and the global financial crisis

Michael A. Santoro, Ronald J. Strauss

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This timely book answers complex and perplexing questions raised by Wall Street's role, financial crisis. What are the economic and moral connections between Wall Street and the overall economy? How did we arrive, this point in history where our most powerful financial institutions thwart rather than promote free markets, prosperity, and even social cohesion? Can the fractured relationship between Wall Street and Main Street be repaired? Wall Street Values chronicles the transformation of Wall Street's business model from serving clients to proprietary trading and explains how this shift undermined the ethical foundations, modern financial industry. Michael A. Santoro and Ronald J. Strauss argue that post-millennial Wall Street is not only “too big to fail” but also a threat to the economy even when it succeeds. They describe how, more than a year before the government acknowledged the financial crisis, Wall Street icon Goldman Sachs saved itself by misleading its clients and impeding the information flow needed for the efficient functioning of free markets, thereby prolonging the mortgage bubble and adding to the financial and human cost, crisis. They also present a nuanced critique, government's role not only for the economic miscalculations leading to financial deregulation but also for failing to check the irrational exuberance of 2007 and 2008. Looking to the future, Santoro and Strauss make a compelling case for vigorous government enforcement, Dodd-Frank Act, face of Wall Street's opposition. They also argue, however, that effective government regulation is not enough; economic prosperity will be sustainable only if Wall Street professionals themselves begin an urgently needed conversation about their values and business ethics.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages232
ISBN (Electronic)9781139084109
ISBN (Print)9781107017351
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2010


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