Wall Street has a history far richer than the Hunts' attempt to corner the silver market and the development of the "junk bond." Walter Werner and Steven Smith explore the relationship between the securities markets and the historic development of the American economy in Wall Street, emphasizing the importance of the period 1790 through 1840. The book focuses on the corporate response to the capital needs of the developing economy, and the role of the securities markets in mobilizing and allocating that capital.
Werner and Smith argue that a long view of our corporate history demonstrates that the line of development from the corporate system of 1790 is direct and continuous. The authors contend there was no corporate revolution; rather, each successive era set the stage for the next, and all have built on the foundations laid during the period from 1790-1840, which they call the Bank Age. The authors view the history of the corporate system as a process of continuous maturation where securities markets and public corporations have always been of vital importance to each other.
Wall Street is written in non-technical language for the general reader and provides insight into the early years of the bull, the bear, and the buck.