The US stock markets were designed to handle a large volume of small orders for individuals who paid brokers well to do their business. Today they process a small volume of large orders from institutional investors, most of whom pay their brokers only a few cents a share. The community of brokers gets even by trading against its customers, often secretly or through hidden nominees, while the institutions are seeking new settings for trading without informing their brokers. And the SEC has proved unwilling or unable to step in and police these off-the-floor activities. We are well on the road to losing the honest and open markets that have contributed so much to our prosperity. This insidious phenomenon - the growing tendency of brokers to trade against their customers - affects the investor.
Efficient and effective markets require complete information available simultaneously to all participants and the inability of any single participant to determine prices. Mayer, a well-known popular author on monetary and economic subjects, contends that recent action by the Securities and Exchange Commission together with the activities of the very large brokerage firms have, in essence, turned the stock markets into an almost club-like atmosphere that no longer is responsive to individual investors. In short, individuals are the last to be considered, in part because such a large volume of the buying and selling of shares takes place "off" or outside of the markets. There are modest notes and a limited index. A good general reader's version of what is happening in financial markets. Appropriate for undergraduate and public library collections.-D. E. Bond, University of British Columbia
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Financial journalist Mayer has written 25 books, most focused on a single U.S. industry or profession (e.g., advertising, public education, the law, banking) and analyzing, over time, the unique reciprocal relationship between that specific field and the U.S. economy. This approach has produced powerful insights into the strengths and vulnerabilities of each industry and profession. "Securities markets," Mayer notes here, "are far from essential for the financing of capitalist enterprise," but he believes that, "over time, for all the errors, prices in an open, honest, and transparent stock market will give . . . the decision-makers of an economy guidance far better than [that] available from the study of government statistics or the reports of academic researchers." Thus, Mayer feels "what has been happening to our securities markets since the 1960s--in small increments, driven by changes in data processing and communications technology, business practice, sociology, and government--has come to the edge of tragedy." Stealing the Market is the story of that tragedy and an important cautionary tale. ~--Mary Carroll
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Library Journal Review
Well-known for his popular and very readable books on financial matters ( The Greatest-Ever Bank Robbery , LJ 10/1/90), Mayer presents a different perspective on the stock market, saying that the stock market no longer serves who it was meant to. He analyzes the role of the individual investor with respect to that of the large institutions, specifically brokerage firms, who in the past worked for the individual investor. Today, according to Mayer, they often work against the client by building up their own accounts at his expense. This interesting, thought-provoking, and controversial tome will appeal to many who follow stock market activities.-- Steven J. Mayover, Free Lib. of Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.