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An Analysis Of The Relationship Between Corporate America And Wall Street In Liquidated By Karen Hos

1278 words - 6 pages

In Karen Hos’ Liquidated, she aims to study the relationships between corporate America and the worlds greatest financial center. . . Wall Street. She puts all her three years of research in her ethnography and thus the very first page of chapter one, we can already understand Hos’ determination to understand what Wall Street is all about. The first main theme explained is the relations in Wall Street that are based on a culture of domination of staff members, their irresponsibility dealing with corporate America, and constant changes that occur during this process. Another major theme we see in her ethnography is that Wall Street, first used for the communities wellbeing, is now profit oriented.
Recruitment is the very first part of becoming an investment banker. The typical profile of these new recruits are very privileged, elite university graduates who are primarily Euro-American. Although there are some African Americans, Asian Americans, and women found in Wall Street; Ho sees that the higher you climb, the less diverse it tends to get (Ho, 78). Firms pull from 5-10 of the most elite universities such as Harvard, Stanford, Yale, and so on and it is these new recruits that are seen as the best and the brightest with the most “smartness”. Part of this has to do with the fact that a persons pedigree is seen to legitimate how that investor will do in the market. New recruits that are fresh out of college are expected to hold the future of corporate America in their hands even if they do not have much real world experience straight out of college. When it comes to social status in Wall Streets’ elite community, it is these great pedigrees that are the ones smiled upon. “They are the elite of Wall Street. Their offices are furnished with expensive antiques and original works of art. They dress in conservatively cut $500 suits”(Ho, 26). This is where domination of new recruits takes place. New investment bankers have to work a hundred plus hours weekly and even their social lives are taken over. Tight social circles are formed and this will make up their new Wall Street way of life. From the first orientation, ideas of riches and a better life flood new recruits heads. “Show me the money! You will be making more money then you every dreamed possible”(Ho, 25). Wall Street employment is also precarious. Investment bankers get the idea that they are easily liquidated and they ride the wave as long as possible and then except the lay off. Workers understand that Wall Street is bigger than the workers who run it, so lay offs ultimately do not matter. These lay offs are, evidently, great for the booming of stocks. With this being said, money starts to become the object of domination in the lives of these new brokers. Money can now be the ultimate thing that can make anything possible and this is where money in Wall Street becomes their first priority; before they are liquidated they must earn an obscene amount.
While reading Hos’ ethnography, you...

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